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Advani yatra to counter Congress campaign: Sonia

By Kanwar Yogendra

BAIJNATH (H.P), MARCH 3. The Congress president, Sonia Gandhi today undertook a "Jan Sampark Abhiyan" (mass contact programme) in Himachal Pradesh.

Speaking to presspersons at the Gagal Airport in Kangra, Ms. Gandhi said that the proposed "bus yatra" of the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, was "to counter the mass contact programme undertaken by the Congress."

During her whirlwind tour, she stopped at many places in both the Kangra and Mandi parliamentary constituencies.

She started from Itchhi in Kangra and proceeded to Mataur, Kholi, Samloti, Nagrota Bagwan, Praur and Palampur. After a short lunch break, she covered areas such as Banoori and Baijnath in Kangra.

In the evening, Ms. Gandhi visited Chauntra, Jogindernagar, Padhar, Palli Darang in Mandi district. Along the way, she halted at many places and shook hands with women and children.

It was apparent that she preferred to go to the people and talk to them instead of making formal speeches.

She was accompanied by the party leaders, Anand Sharma, and Kumari Shaljja.

In Chauntra, she was seen discussing the unemployment problem in the State with the youths.

In a brief speech at Paddhar, she called upon the people to uproot the "corrupt" NDA Government at the Centre.

Talking to The Hindu, Ashok Gehlot, the new observer for the State, said the party would win all the four Lok Sabha seats in the coming elections.

The party tickets would be finalised in a day or two, he added.

Tomorrow, Ms. Gandhi is scheduled to visit Hamirpur and Una.

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