Manmohan Singh first PM to visit Afzalgarh | india | Hindustan Times
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Manmohan Singh first PM to visit Afzalgarh

india Updated: Apr 15, 2007 15:50 IST

Manmohan Singh on Sunday became the first prime minister to visit this town, one of the most backward areas in western Uttar Pradesh.

As an Indian Air Force helicopter carrying Singh landed at the Adarsh Inter College ground in Afzalgarh, people from all nooks and corners of the town gathered to catch a glimpse of him.

A large number of people were also seen standing on rooftops to welcome the prime minister, who was in Afzalgarh to campaign for his Congress party ahead of the third phase of the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls on April 18.

"We are seeing a prime minister for the first time in our town," said local journalist Ashok Sharma. "I am very happy to see our prime minister here," said city resident Rashid Ansari.

Singh reciprocated the welcome, saying he was happy to be among the people of Afzalgarh.

The Congress has not won the Afzalgarh assembly seat for the past 22 years. The prime minister's visit is being seen as a major push by the party to revive its fortunes which have dwindled in the state over the years.

Mahmoodal Hassan was the last Congress candidate who won in Afzalgarh in 1985, defeating BJP's Thamman Singh. In 1989, the seat was won by the BSP. Since 1991, BJP's Indra Dev has never lost from Afzalgarh.