The first day of Congress President Sonia Gandhi's three-day visit to Rae Bareli, her parliamentary constituency, was devoted to Dalits and Muslims. She visited several villages on Monday and took stock of implementation of various centrally-sponsored schemes.
After landing at the Amausi airport in Lucknow, Gandhi visited Indira Gandhi Eye Hospital run by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. After a quick feedback from the patients and doctors, she headed to Rae Bareli, making unscheduled halts at a number of villages where she received a rousing reception.
The Congress president also visited a couple of Dalit households and interacted with villagers seeking information on welfare and social security schemes funded by the Union government.
The common complaint of most villagers was related to irregularities in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. They also drew her attention to the fact that a large number of them were denied job cards despite being entitled to them. Many villagers who had obtained job cards said that they were not paid their daily wages.
The Congress president was shocked to learn that the road to Mau and Maharajganj villages was not constructed even after funds for the central road were released six years ago.
Gandhi also visited a local Darul-Uloom Mohammadi madrasa in Hallaur village and readily conceded to their demand for construction of an additional classroom out of her constituency fund.