Congress President Sonia Gandhi today arrived in her constituency Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh and to meet farmers who suffered losses due to unseasonal rain. With her son and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi still on leave of absence, Mrs Gandhi will also extend her visit to his constituency - Amethi.
Mrs Gandhi's visit comes days after posters sprang up across Uttar Pradesh - including Amethi - declaring the 44-year-old Vice President as "Missing Person." Mr Gandhi has been on leave of absence since February 16.
After landing at Fursatganj Airfield in Raebareli, Mrs Gandhi passed through several villages of the district stopping briefly to interact with locals and taking stock of the losses to the crops due to this year's unseasonal rains and hailstorms. "We are very tensed and trying to find a way out. We will take up the issue with the government," said Mrs Gandhi after her interactions with the locals.
She also visited the house of Kathak exponent Sheetla Prasad who had lost his life in the recent train derailment incident.
Her visit to the state comes amid increased focus of the party on farmers' issues and its strident opposition to the NDA government's controversial land ordinance. She had earlier met rain affected farmers in Haryana and Rajasthan.
Yesterday, Mrs Gandhi, in a strongly-worded letter to the government said that "fighting for the rights of farmers is "non-negotiable" for her party.
Earlier this month, the 68-year-old Congress President was seen leading nearly 100 lawmakers from 14 parties in a march from parliament to the Rashtrapati Bhawan to signal their protest to the government's Land Bill.