Rahul’s 3-day whirlwind tour of TN to pick a leaf from Rajiv’s book | india | Hindustan Times
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Rahul’s 3-day whirlwind tour of TN to pick a leaf from Rajiv’s book

Rahul Gandhi's visit is a throwback to his father Rajiv Gandhi's path-breaking 14 visits to the State during 1988 that first sowed the seeds of a Congress resurgence in Tamil Nadu since its lost power in Chennai in 1967 , MR Venkatesh reports.

india Updated: Sep 05, 2009 21:58 IST
MR Venkatesh

The AICC General Secretary, Mr. Rahul Gandhi will make a three-day whirlwind tour of Tamil Nadu from Sept 8, in a possible throwback to his father Rajiv Gandhi's path-breaking 14 visits to the State during 1988 that first sowed the seeds of a Congress resurgence in Tamil Nadu since its lost power in Chennai in 1967.

As a massive enrolment drive for the Pradesh Youth Congress is on in the State since Aug 20, Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary, Rahul’s rapid-fire tour of Tamil Nadu would impart a fresh momentum to the process after a successful similar exercise has been already completed in neighbouring Puducherry Union territory.

The Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) President, Mr KV Thankkabalu, confirming Rahul's visit to the State from Sept 8 to Sept 10, told reporters here today that the latter would not only be reviewing the pace and effectiveness of the new membership drive, but will also interact with the new and existing members all through.

While Rajiv’s intense tour of Tamil Nadu shaped a new political romance for the Congress those years, Rahul is determined to give a radically different profile to the new Youth Congress in the State, party sources say. The membership drive began at Sriperumbudur, Rajiv’s martyrdom place, in the presence of Mr. Jyothir Aditya Scindia.

“We are all working very hard and youngsters are very enthusiastic across various groups,” says Ms. M. Hazeena Syed, an energetic youth Congress woman worker. The membership drive for the Pradesh Youth Congress, to go on till Sept 17, is recruiting anyone in the age-group of 18-35 years. “The only requisite is the person keen to work for the Youth Congress should have no criminal record,” says Hazeena.

Rahul is very serious about holding free and fair elections to the Youth Congress bodies at all levels and the organizational elections here are expected to be held sometime in November. “We are targeting a lot of young women too,” says Hazeena.

To ensure an effective and transparent screening procedure and to conduct the Youth Congress polls freely in the State, the party has roped in an NGO, ‘SAME’, founded by the former no-nonsense Election Commissioner, Mr. K. J. Rao. The entire youth congress membership data will also be consolidated by the NGO outfit.

In a packed schedule commencing from Nagercoil near Kanniyakumari, over 600 km from here in deep South of Tamil Nadu, on Sept 8, Rahul Gandhi has a string of meetings with IYC groups, besides with College students at various places en route.

During those three days, Rahul Gandhi will cover several parts of South, Central, North and Western Tamil Nadu, including Madurai, Thanjavur, Villupuram, Vellore, Chennai, Salem and Coimbatore , Mr. Thankkabalu said. The AICC leader will also be interacting with students groups at Madurai-Kamaraj University in Madurai, and at the Anna University in Chennai. He will meet young entrepreneurs at Coimbatore and also address a rally in the Textile city on the last leg of his tour on Sept 10.

Mr.venkatesh@hindustantimes.com