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Rahul Gandhi to Discover Karnataka from today
Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | March 25, 2008 10:04 IST
Last Updated: March 25, 2008 12:23 IST
The Karnataka leg of All India Congress Committee General Secretary Rahul Gandhi's [Images] Discover India tour is scheduled to start on Tuesday. During his five day tour, Rahul will visit eight districts in the state.
Rahul's first destination will be Chamrajnagar near Mysore. Incidentally, the eight districts on Rhul's itinerary - Chamarajanagar, Mysore, Mangalore, Hubli-Dharwad, Gadag, Bagalkot, Bijapur and Raichur � are not the traditional strongholds of his party. In the last election, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal � Secular won the majority of the seats from these districts.
Youth Congress leaders say that a major part of Rahul's tour will involve interaction with tribals. There are two reasons for this, say Congress insiders. The Bahujan Samaj Party, which is trying to establish its hold over Karnataka, is threatening to eat into the Congress' vote bank of tribals. Also, the number of seats reserved for Scheduled Tribe candidates has gone up from 2 to 15 as per the new delimitation report.
The tribals at B R Hills, who feel that Rahul will protect their rights, have planned a grand welcome for the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family. Special prayers, followed by ragi rotis and honey, are also on the menu for Rahul.
Rahul will then leave for Nagarhole, which is also known as the Rajiv Gandhi National Park. He will be the first member of the Nehru-Gandhi family to visit the park after his grandmother Indira Gandhi [Images] visited it over 30 years ago.
Rahul will also get a chance to go on a safari trip at the national park. From Nagarhole, the Congress leader will travel to Mangalore, where he will interact with students and other party workers. His next destination will be Hubli, where a host of other programmes have been organised to welcome the Congress leader.
Congress insiders say that Rahul is following in the footsteps of his father, former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, who too toured the country extensively before taking up the top post.
The foundation of Rahul's tour is based on the speech given by his father Rajiv Gandhi during the Congress centenary at Mumbai in 1985. The senior Gandhi has spoken about eradicating corruption, the introduction of youth in the party and also about the importance of connecting to the rural masses across the country.