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Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi boarding the helicopter after addressing a meeting of Youth Congress workers in Tirupur on Thursday.
TIRUPUR: The Youth Congress cannot decide on alliances as a decision on such matters will have to be taken by the Congress high command, party general secretary Rahul Gandhi said here on Thursday.
Mr. Gandhi said this in response to Youth Congress members' call to end the alliance with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhgam (DMK), at a meeting he had with them on St. Joseph's School grounds here. Youth Congress office-bearers in the Parliamentary and Assembly constituencies in the western region including Karur, Salem, Erode, Coimbatore, the Nilgiris and Tirupur took part in the meeting.
Youth Congress presidents in Karur and Salem Parliamentary constituencies J. Ramesh Kumar and R. Vijayavarman and general secretary in Udumalpet Assembly constituency L. Prashant Kumar told reporters that a request in writing on severing ties with the DMK was handed over to Mr. Gandhi. “We are of the opinion that the DMK Government did not take many of the welfare schemes initiated by the Central Government to the people effectively,” Mr. Vijayavarman alleged.
Mr. Gandhi called for 50 per cent representation for women in the Youth Congress.
He also told the members that they would have to work hard at the grassroots level before aspiring for prominent positions.
Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.V. Thangkabalu accompanied Mr. Gandhi to Tirupur from Tirunvelveli.
Mr. Gandhi halted at the Coimbatore Airport on way to Tirupur. He was received by Valparai MLA Kovai Thangam and Coimbatore Mayor R. Venkatachalam.
Tirupur Deputy Mayor Senthil Kumar, former State president of the Youth Congress Mayur S. Jayakumar and Thondamuthur (Coimbatore District) MLA M.N. Kandaswamy received him at the helipad in Tirupur. Former Union Minister E.V.K.S. Elangovan was present when Mr. Gandhi took off from Tirupur to attend another meeting in Tiruchi.
A 71-year-old man, who claimed to have met Mahatma Gandhi at Sathyamangalam in 1942, created a flutter at the venue.
Dressed like Gandhiji, he managed to go up to entrance of the venue by breaking through what was otherwise a tight security cordon to prevent anyone other than the participants of the meeting from entering it.
Before being removed by the police, the man said his name was Shanmugham Gandhi, naming himself after the Mahatma.
He had run a grocery store in Erode till recently and was now spreading Gandhian ideals with the help of non-governmental organisations.
As a supporter of the Congress, he wanted to meet its young leader Rahul Gandhi.
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