HYDERABAD: It was like a wedding, where the groom didn’t turn up. Congress leaders who had decked up the city with flex boards, cutouts and banners with Rahul Gandhi all along the main thoroughfares of Hyderabad, were left wringing their hands when their leader didn’t turn up. Hundreds of party workers and activists had pulled out all stops with banners and buntings; the policemen, who had already conducted an Advance Security Liaison (ASL) drill were getting ready for a long day in the sun, when they heard the news: Rahul Gandhi is skipping Hyderabad!
At the end of the day, the calling off of Hyderabad leg of the Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s visit appeared even more mysterious than his 60-day disappearance.
Was it a security concern or was it simply a mood swing on the part of Rahul Gandhi which led ‘Rahul Baba’ to cancel his Hyderabad visit in the last minute?
‘’We received a message from New Delhi this morning informing us that due to some unavoidable reasons, his Hyderabad visit has been cancelled,’’ a senior police official disclosed to Express.
However, another police official said that the cancellation of Rahul Gandhi’s programme in the last minute was not due to security concerns, but has taken place many a times earlier.
‘’Rahul was to travel from Shamshabad airport to Nirmal in Adilabad district (around 230 kms). He might have changed his mind and wanted a shorter programme,’’ the official, well-versed with Rahul Gandhi’s functioning, disclosed.
As news broke about the cancellation of Rahul’s visit, several Congress leaders and workers were left red-faced. ‘’We made massive arrangements and our workers have been working round the clock since last 48 hours to make the road show a massive success. All hard work has gone down the drain,’’ said a party leader.
Congress leader Mohammed Ali Shabbir said that the Congress leaders and workers were indeed disappointed and many people inconvenienced due to the cancellation of programme. ‘‘But I assure everyone that Rahulji will visit Hyderabad within the next one month and interact with a cross section of people,’’ he said.