Pics: Rahul Gandhi in Orissa

Updated: August 25, 2010 22:17 IST

When UPA II won its successive second elections, it was widely assumed that Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi would be given ministerial position at the Centre but the Congress General Secretary chose to work for the party and since then has visited extensively across the country's hinterland and tribal land to get a sense of the ground situation himself.

Pics: Rahul Gandhi in Orissa
Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi addressed a tribal rally near Niyamgiri Hills in Orissa's Kalahandi district today.
Pics: Rahul Gandhi in Orissa
The Nehru-Gandhi scion's visit to the backward Lanjigarh area comes at a time when Vedanta's mining plan in Niyamgiri Hills, home to Dangaria and Kutia Kandha tribes, has suffered a body blow with Union Environment Ministry rejecting the stage-II clearane for its mining proposal on Tuesday.
Pics: Rahul Gandhi in Orissa
Rahul Gandhi arrived by a helicopter as thousands gathered on the spot waved out to him.
Pics: Rahul Gandhi in Orissa
He reached out to the tribals, saying the rejection of environment clearance to a big bauxite mining project in the Niyamgiri Hills is a victory of the local people. “Your voice reached Delhi and you saved your land. I did what I could, but this is your victory,” Rahul said.
Pics: Rahul Gandhi in Orissa
Wearing a stubble and dressed in his trademark white, Gandhi said amid loud cheers, “We promised you in 2004 that there'll be a government for the aam admi (common man) and we gave you that.”
Pics: Rahul Gandhi in Orissa
Rahul's return to Lanjigarh is being seen as the UPA's first major intervention in defence of the tribal groups agitating against mining and displacement.
Pics: Rahul Gandhi in Orissa
But as Rahul reaches out to the tribals, the ruling Biju Janata Dal has described the Centre's rejection of the Vedanta project as against the interests of state and is holding protests at the site of Rahul's rally and in other parts of the state.
Pics: Rahul Gandhi in Orissa
When Rahul last visited the area in March 2008, he had said, "For the tribals of Kalahandi, there is a solider in Delhi named Rahul Gandhi."
Pics: Rahul Gandhi in Orissa
Assuring the tribals of his support, Rahul said, "My work is not finished, it has begun."
Pics: Rahul Gandhi in Orissa
Tight security arrangements were made in the area for Rahul's visit with deployment of adequate force.
Pics: Rahul Gandhi reaches out
When UPA II won its successive second elections, it was widely assumed that Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi would be given ministerial position at the Centre but the Congress General Secretary chose to work for the party and since then has visited extensively across the country's hinterland and tribal land to get a sense of the ground situation himself.
Pics: Rahul Gandhi reaches out
Farmers have been protesting in UP over land compensation issue. At least three farmers were killed in police clashes. Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi even visited Aligarh and backed the farmers' agitation. Rahul Gandhi - the Congress' centrifugal force in UP - took the battle straight to the Prime Minister. "Land acquisition is a very important issue. What happened in Aligarh is very unfair. We need to have a view on it," Gandhi told reporters as he met Doctor Manmohan Singh.
Pics: Rahul Gandhi reaches out
"He has taken on Mayawati in her own territory. It is a brave thing to do. He himself seems to have no caste or class prejudice. What he has been doing in Amethi, staying with the lower castes and sharing their food-I don't think that you can criticize him for that,” Khushwant Singh said appreciating Rahul's political style.
Pics: Rahul Gandhi reaches out
When Rahul Gandhi turned down a Cabinet post in the Manmohan Singh government and announced that he wanted to concentrate on strengthening the party at the grassroots level, the decision was met with much admiration. The self-effacing Nehru-Gandhi scion, once seen as a reluctant politician, was credited for his starring role in the resounding victory of the Congress in the 2009 elections and the revival of the party in Uttar Pradesh.
Pics: Rahul Gandhi reaches out
Rahul Gandhi's role in mobilising the youth power, his strenuous efforts at rejuvenating the Congress in Uttar Pradesh, and his robust defence of Manmohan Singh as the party's prime ministerial candidate against the BJP's onslaught were seen as some of his singular contributions to the party's victory. (PTI Photo)
Pics: Rahul Gandhi reaches out
Rahul Gandhi having dinner while spending a night in the house of Chedi Ram Pasi, a Dalit, in Shravasti district of Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday. In Uttar Pradesh and other states, he made a habit of staying in the homes Dalits to show Congress is not aloof from the 'aam aadmi'. (PTI Photo)
Pics: Rahul Gandhi reaches out
Rahul and Gates 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. (NDTV Image)
Pics: Rahul Gandhi reaches out
The interactive session, which went on for nearly two hours, began with the Congress leader and the Microsoft Chairman taking their "seat" on a mud platform. (NDTV Image)
Pics: Rahul Gandhi reaches out
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi paid a visit to the flood-affected Shravasti district, had dinner with Chedi Ram Pasi, a Dalit, and even spent the night at his house. Here, we see Rahul Gandhi in a class room at a primary school helping students in the Rampur Tilhar village of Amethi district. (PTI Photo)
Pics: Rahul Gandhi reaches out
Rahul with a Dalit at Rampur Devman village in Shravasti district of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday. His trip left the Uttar Pradesh Police in a tizzy and Chief Minister Mayawati fuming. The Uttar Pradesh Police claim that Rahul sneaked into the state, broke protocol by not informing them of his plans and went missing for 18 hours. (PTI Photo)
Pics: Rahul Gandhi reaches out
Rahul Gandhi inspects the work of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in Shravasti district. He visited the area as part of his surprise tour to the flood affected district that started last week around 3 pm on Wednesday. He was spotted leaving an Indian Airlines flight at the Lucknow airport. He was then seen on the streets of Lucknow, seated in an Innova, with his security following him in three SUVs. (PTI Photo)
Pics: Rahul Gandhi reaches out
He addressed over 140 campaign rallies across India and said he wanted to usher in a new brand of democratic politics by promoting a new generation of future leaders.
Pics: Rahul Gandhi reaches out
Rahul Gandhi in a class room at a primary school helping students in the Rampur Tilhar village of Amethi district. (PTI Photo)

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