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Rahul campaigns in Manipur

AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi shaking hands with people during his visit for election campaign at Churachandpur district of Manipur on Thursday. (EP)
Correspondent: IMPHAL, Apr 2:
Published on 3 Apr. 2009 12:55 AM IST
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Assures protection of manipur’s territorial integrity Congress star campaigner Rahul Gandhi who arrived Churanchadpur Thursday on a whistle stop tour of some states in the north east assured that the Congress will protect the territorial integrity of Manipur which the party remained committed to. At the same time he also said that peace in the north eastern region can be restored by uplifting the culture and tradition of the tribal people of the region and prosperity. Despite the 24-hour general strike called by the JAC formed in connection with the murder of three government employees- SDO, Kashom Khullen Dr Kishan and two colleagues that greeted Rahul Gandhi on his arrival in the state; yet people in their thousands converged at the Tuibong Peace Ground, Churachandpur district where he addressed the Congress election rally. Rahul said, Congress party was concerned about the sentiment of the people of the state and will not allow doing any thing which will amount to break the territorial integrity of the state. Rahul’s statement was in sharp contrast to that made by the sitting MP of Outer Manipur, Mani Charenamei who claimed that he had extended support to the UPA government at the Centre with an assurance from the Congress leaders to delete “protection of territorial integrity of the state” in the common minimum programme of the coalition government. Charenamei made the statement while addressing an election campaign launched yesterday at Senapati district headquarters. Rahul also said the Congress- led UPA government at the Centre was sincere in the uplift of the people in the north east region for which it has accorded priority in the implementation of the Central sponsored NREGS programme which assured 100 days work to every poor rural people in the region. He also appealed to people to vote for the two Congress candidates in both Parliamentary constituencies so as to strengthen the Congress- led Secular Progressive Front (SPF) government in the state so that the Congress in the state and Centre can bring all round development to the state. Rahul Gandhi stayed for hardly an hour after landing at Churachandpur by helicopter to address a meeting near the helipad He left Imphal Tulihal airport for his onward journey without proceeding to Imphal which is only around 2 km from the airport. State Congress including the Chief Minister, O Ibobi Singh, MPCC chief Gaikhangam, Congress ministers and MLAs were also present at the meeting . The Congress is fielding Thangso who hails from Churachandpur district as its nominee in the Outer Manipur Reserved seat while Dr T Meinya in the Inner seat. Congress Supremo, Sonia Gandhi is also likely to visit the state in the coming days for another round of Congress election rally in the state, according to the party source.

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