Congress workers from across the country started arriving in the Capital in large numbers on Saturday for the party’s Maha Rally at Ramlila Maidan here on Sunday in support of Foreign Direct Investment in multi-brand retail.

Among the first to reach the Capital was a large group of Congress workers, mostly young men, marching on foot from Meham in Rohtak. Led by Youth Congress leader Balram Dangi, the son of local MLA Anand Singh Dangi, the marchers along with their convoy of vehicles were welcomed by Rohtak MP Deepender Singh Hooda at Nangloi. Spotting pink headgears and “phatkas”, a sign of prosperity, the workers raised slogans in favour of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

“We started the march on Thursday afternoon and passed through several villages before reaching the Capital. Along the way we informed the people about the pro-poor policies of the Congress. We found that the common man is still with the Congress and supports its policies,” said Mr. Dangi, who along with his supporters is putting up at “Samta Sthala”, Babu Jagjiwan Ram Memorial, for the night.

Party worker Jaideep Dhankar said: “Most of the supporters who have come to the Capital along with Mr. Dangi are young men, which shows that the younger generation supports the policies of the Congress. We support Foreign Direct Investment in retail as it will benefit the poor and the farmers.”

Another supporter, Rohtas, a resident of Madina village, chipped in: “It is the Congress alone that works for the poor and the downtrodden. Efforts are being made by other parties and individuals to malign the Congress by targeting our leaders, but they will not succeed in their plans. The large turnout of supporters at the rally on Sunday will be a befitting reply to the detractors of the Congress and prove that the masses still have faith in the leadership of the party.”

Meanwhile, tight security arrangements have been made in and around the Ramlila Maidan for the rally which will be addressed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Ms. Gandhi and All-India Congress Committee general-secretary Rahul Gandhi among others. “More than 10,000 police personnel have been deployed at the venue, which will be opened to the public on Sunday morning. Fire tenders have also been stationed at the ground to deal with any emergency,” said a senior police officer.

Preparations were on till late at night at the Ramlila Maidan with its boundary walls dotted with banners and hoardings carrying pictures of senior Congress leaders and local Delhi politicians and proclaimed “FDI Aayi, Khushhali Laayi” (The FDI will bring along prosperity).

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