Mr. Gandhi to focus on farmer issues in his speech.
The historic town of Tiruchi has been decked up with colourful posters for the arrival of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who, despite the Parliament being in session, will attend his first public meeting in Tamil Nadu on Thursday after a gap of 15 months.
Sources said Mr. Gandhi will focus on farmer issues in his speech, targeting the BJP-led Central government. He will also interact with Delta farmers after the public meeting, where he is expected to garner support of the community for the Congress’ campaign against the Amendments to the Land Acquisition Bill.
Posters indicated that Mr. Gandhi might be critical of the AIADMK government in the State and mention about several corruption allegations against it. The Congress had approached Governor K. Rosaiah with a petition seeking action on corruption charges against State Ministers.
The city has come under a tight security blanket with traffic being regulated around the meeting spot at ‘G’ Corner. Police sources say they are expecting about 25000 people to assemble at the venue.
Show of strength
As expected, the faction led by Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) president, E.V.K.S. Elangovan, dominated the hoardings put up at major junctions in the city. The pictures of other senior leaders, including that of former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, were conspicuously absent from the hoardings.
The meeting being the first major one since the split in the party engineered by former Union Minister G.K. Vasan, Congressmen see it as a test of strength. Traditionally, Tiruchi, Thanjavur and other Cauvery Delta districts are considered the strongholds of the Vasan faction, who resurrected the Tamil Manila Congress in November last year.