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Bad weather ruins day for many of his fans

Their dream of meeting Rahul Gandhi was shattered on Thursday. Even after waiting for several hours in the sun, Congress supporters and Gandhi fans of Jangipur sub-division in Murshidabad and adjacent areas of Malda district couldn't meet their hero. Sagarnil Mukherjee reports.

india Updated: Apr 15, 2011 17:20 IST
Sagarnil Mukherjee

Their dream of meeting Rahul Gandhi was shattered on Thursday. Even after waiting for several hours in the sun, Congress supporters and Gandhi fans of Jangipur sub-division in Murshidabad and adjacent areas of Malda district couldn't meet their hero.

Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi was scheduled to attend a rally at Farakka, Murshidabad, to show support to Congress candidate of the constituency Mainul Haque. But the programme had to be called off because of thunderstorms in north Bengal.

Ataur Rahman, resident of Arjunpur village, was an ardent admirer of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. But he didn't get the chance to see him at the Farakka meeting. So, this time he wasn't ready to give up on the opportunity to meet his son. Rahman arrived at the Kashinagar ground in Farakka just after sunrise and took the front row. Like Rahman, several others waited for more than six hours to see the youth Congress leader. But Gandhi junior did not arrive.

He went to Domkal to attend a meeting by Shoumik Hossain after attending a public meeting at Mothabari, Malda. When district Congress president Adhir Chowdhury, declared that Rahul Gandhi wouldn't be arriving at Kashinagar, their hopes were broken. Rahman said, "I have been a loyal Congress worker for the last 20 years. I considered Rajiv Gandhi as my leader, but I had only seen his pictures on TV channels and in newspapers. Every time he came to Farakka, I failed to attend his meetings. Now Rahul Gandhi has become my leader. I was waiting for him at the mango orchard since 7am. But my leader couldn't come. I am very upset."

Sushila Haldar, a senior citizen from Sahanagar village, said, "Today my daughter-in-law Rekha cooked only rice and dal for me. We had our lunch early and came to the mango orchard of Kashinagar at 10 am to see Indira Gandhi's grandson. But god has been unkind to us." She left the field after kissing a hoarding of Rahul Gandhi.

Shankari Banerjee, a resident of Beniagram, said "I have seen Rahul's grandmother at the foundation-laying and inauguration programme of the NTPC power plant. This time I came to see her grandson. But I am returning after listening to the speech of local leaders." "O ki aar kono din o ashbe ekhane (Will he ever come here again?)," she said

Bhabesh Haldar, sugarcane juice seller, said, "l cannot stop business even for a day. It is my only source of livelihood. But today I came here to listen to what our future prime minister had to say to the youth."