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Rahul Gandhi favours focused interactions

The first tour of Rahul Gandhi to Telangana as AICC president is expected to be a grand affair with a huge public meeting in the city or in some district headquarters but Mr. Gandhi apparently preferred street meetings and focussed meeting with specific groups for a better impact, a strategy that was successfully used in Karnataka.

Telangana Congress has carefully chosen the meeting venues and the groups that impact society as a whole. Meetings with young industrialists, editors and senior journalists, self help groups, student leaders, intellectuals and leaders of Muslim community have been finalised.

The advance team of Mr. Gandhi and the security team on Wednesday visited the places he is expected to visit during his tour on October 13 and 14. However, the Congress leaders expect some hurdles in meeting with student leaders planned at Arts College. The leaders want Mr. Gandhi to visit Osmania University Arts College, the hotbed of Telangana agitation to send a political message to the government but they fear authorities will deny permission citing some reason.

At the same time, Mr. Gandhi is reluctant to visit places where permission is not given and has indicated the same to the Telangana Congress. TPCC president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy said they have applied for permission and also paid money for the auditorium.

The public meeting at Serilingampally, according to party leaders, is planned to send a positive message to the people of Andhra and Rayalaseema regions that Congress would do justice to them. The constituency has the highest concentration of people from those two regions. “Speaking positively on the Special Category Status to AP, Mr. Gandhi wants to expose TRS that has supported BJP in the Lok Sabha on the same issue,” a senior leader said.

Mr. Gandhi will meet senior editors of major publications, a first of its kind, over breakfast at The Harita Plaza to share his views on various issues and also seek their views on the same. This will be much on the lines of his recent meeting with women journalists in New Delhi.

The meeting with some 10,000 members of self help groups (SHG) is planned at Rajendra Nagar and the purpose is to tell them how TRS has neglected them and what Congress proposes to do. The State has about 10,000 SHGs with menbership of around 70 lakh women. Similar meeting will be held with about 100 industrialists followed by a meeting with Muslim intellectuals.

Mr. Uttam Kumar Reddy dismissed the criticism within the party that no public meeting is planned and said they will have some massive meetings as the elections are near. But this tour is specifically aimed at meeting certain influential groups and exchange views.

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