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Rahul, Gates Visit Amethi; Meet Aam-Aadmi

"Namaste. Mein Rahul hoon (I am Rahul Gandhi)." This is how the Congress leader introduced himself to an elderly patient in a ward at the Indira Gandhi Hospital in Munshiganj on Tuesday."Baba, aap kaise hain
PTI May 11, 2010 18:56 IST
PTI


"Namaste. Mein Rahul hoon (I am Rahul Gandhi)." This is how the Congress leader introduced himself to an elderly patient in a ward at the Indira Gandhi Hospital in Munshiganj on Tuesday.

"Baba, aap kaise hain (How are you)?" The MP from Amethi asked 70-year-old Shivram, suffering from old age problems and undergoing treatment in the hospital.

 As Rahul, accompanied by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, moved ahead, some old patients nudged each other, pointing out at the young Congress leader as "Rajiv ka beta (Rajiv Gandhi's son)."

The late former Prime Minister had represented Amethi in the Lok Sabha four times and old timers still find it easy to place Rahul as Rajiv Gandhi's son.

During his hour-long stay in the hospital, Rahul personally asked about the health conditions of the aged patients and found out how their treatment was going on.

39-year-old Rahul was taken by surprise when a patient asked him about his mother Sonia and sister Priyanka.

"Sonia (who represents neighbouring Rae Bareli in the Lok Sabha) and Priyanka are household names in the twin constituencies associated with the Nehru-Gandhi family," a local Congress leader said.

Rahul also visited the Out Patient Department (OPD) of the hospital.

After landing at the Fursatganj airstrip, Rahul and Gates drove to Bahadurpur village in Jais town and addressed a meeting of Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojna, a self-help group of women.

Gates explained the importance of computer education and promised to try his best to develop Amethi and adjoining Rae Bareli as an IT hub.

The two then visited Shahgarh Block Primary School where an eye care and cataract camp has been set up.

Gates evinced keen interest in the facilities there and interacted with the patients.

They met health workers and found out what problems they are facing in carrying out the job efficiently.

"Rahul's visit this time appears similar to the tour undertaken by the Congress leader in January last year when he had spent a night along with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband in a ramshackle hut belonging to Shivkumari Kori, a poor Dalit, at Simara village in Amethi," a local leader said.

During his day-long visit to his constituency, Rahul stopped at an SBI branch in Gauriganj and asked the manager about the number of self-help groups (SHGs) holding accounts in the bank. Rahul has opened a number women's SHGs in his constituency. PTI