Hyderabad: After his visits to Punjab and Maharashtra to meet farmers, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is likely to undertake two-day tour of Telangana this month with a focus on the issue of farmers’ suicide. Gandhi is likely to visit the state in the second or third week of May to meet families of farmers who committed suicide due to distress. “The dates have not yet been finalized but it will be a two-day visit,” senior party leader Mohammed Ali Shabbir told IANS.
The Congress vice chief is likely to visit Nirmal in Adilabad district to meet families of farmers and tribals to know their problems. Party sources have not ruled out a visit to Medak, the home district of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.
Gandhi, who looks aggressive since his return from two-month long sabbatical, is also likely to interact with journalists at Hyderabad Press Club. On his first visit to Telangana after the formation of separate state, he will be keen to take on Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government and highlight its failures during last 11 months.
Gandhi will undertake ‘padyatra’ to visit several villages as he has done in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. “He will visit the families of farmers who ended their lives and spend 10 minutes in each house,” said Shabbir, who is the vice president of Telangana unit of the party.
The Congress vice president will not be addressing any public meeting during his visit as he does not want the party to mobilize people. “We may select about 200 cadres from each assembly constituency for the padyatra. The people will come voluntarily,” said Shabbir, who leads the opposition in Telangana legislative council.
Telangana Congress leaders claim that the plans of Gandhi’s visit has enthused the cadre. They hope the visit will go a long way in boosting the morale of the cadre and giving them confidence that the party can bounce back.
Though it was Congress which carved out separate Telangana state, it could not gain politically from it. The party got only 26 seats in 119-member state assembly in the elections held in April last year.
However, the party leaders claim that people have now started realizing their mistake.
They said people wanted to vote for TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao as he had led the Telangana movement. “After 11 months, they have realized that he (Chandrasekhar Rao) has failed to deliver on his promises. The youth are frustrated and they are all returning to Congress,” said Shabbir.
The Congress leaders in Telangana believe that people of the state have all respect and love for Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for fulfilling their long-cherished dream of separate state.
Rahul Gandhi’s Telangana visit, they hope, will bring people closer to the party and fill the cadre with greater enthusiasm. The Congress leaders allege that over 700 farmers committed suicide in the state since TRS came to power. The visit also comes at a time when unseasonal rains have added to the woes of farmers.