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Rahul to campaign in Manipur next week

Manipur PCC president and deputy chief minister Gaikhangam addresses party workers in Imphal on Friday. Telegraph picture

Imphal, March 14: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is coming to Manipur during the fourth day of the Yaoshang festival (Holi) to campaign for the party’s two sitting MPs.

Manipur PCC president and deputy chief minister Gaikhangam today said Rahul would be coming on March 19 and he would address an election rally at Kodompokpi ground in Thoubal district, 23km from Imphal.

Despite the five-day Yaoshang festival, which begins on March 16, the Congress hoped that Rahul would attract a huge crowd.

Not many leaders of the Congress would be coming to Manipur to campaign for the party.

Rahul’s address from Kodompokpi ground will be for both the candidates — Thangso Baite in the Outer Manipur and Thokchom Meinya Singh in Inner Manipur constituencies.

The Kodompokpi ground in Wangjing Tentha Assembly constituency, which falls in the Outer, but shares border with the Inner constituency.

“In this manner Rahul can address voters of both the Inner and Outer constituencies in a single meeting. Rahul will be telling the people of Manipur the achievements of the UPA government at the Centre and future plans after coming back to power,” said Gaikhangam.

Gaikhangam said the party was focussed on people-to-people contact rather than organising big election meetings. He said the Congress’s election campaign was almost complete.

Re-introducing both the candidates at a political awareness campaign organised by the party’s Seva Dal at Congress Bhawan here today, Gaikhangam urged party workers to tell the voters about the work done by the UPA government at the Centre and the Congress government led by Okram Ibobi Singh in Manipur.

“The people are with the Congress. We are united. The Opposition is divided. There is no alternative to the Congress,” he said.

Gaikhangam and the two candidates are confident that the Congress would retain both the seats.

Meinya, while addressing the gathering, did not make any commitment. Instead, he spoke of the measures taken up by the UPA government to empower citizens.

Baite said the attempts by other parties to project the Congress as a “corrupt party” would not bear fruit. There was unity in the party, he said.

Though this is the first party programme attended by the two candidates after their candidature was announced, only about 100 party workers mostly belonging to Seva Dal attended the programme which began more than an hour behind schedule.

The Northeast in-charge of All India Seva Dal, P.A. Gurung, attended the programme.

“Clarify to the people the false charges levelled by other parties against the Congress. Work hard to ensure success of the party candidates. Sit down with the candidates and party leaders to devise better strategies,” Gurung told the party workers.