The AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi appreciated the talented youth of Manipur who have brought laurels from national and international arenas at various sports events.

Speaking in a public meeting at Wangjing Kodompokpi which falls within the reserved Outer Manipur constituency on Wednesday, Mr.Gandhi said that the youth have proved their mettle and assured that the government will bring about employment generation.

He made special mention of Mary Kom, the boxer who has been reigning the international scenario for at least five years. He said that he was not surprised to see that girls outshine the boys in sports and other fields. Because there were more women than men in the public meeting, he noted.

He arrived at the Tulihal airport by a special aircraft from Meghalaya at 2 p.m. Thereafter, he rushed to the meeting venue by a helicopter and reached there in ten minutes. He spoke for about 25 minutes.

Mr. Gandhi said that the country takes a serious view of the lynching of a student from Arunachal Pradesh in Delhi and other reports of maltreatment of the youth from the Northeast. Care has been taken to ensure that it is stopped once and for all.

India is a big country of different communities with their own culture, languages and tradition. The Congress respects all of them and it is the duty of the communities to keep the country strong and united. Without naming the BJP, he said that one opposition party is dreaming of having a country of one flower only. But the Congress respects all communities in the country and all flowers are blooming since the Congress does not believe in one community country.

He said that the Congress respects the culture and tradition of the people of Manipur and he described the state as a jewel. As a part of the Look east policy the UPA I and II had improved the national highways 2 and 37 and the construction works of the railways were started. He was confident that people will taste the fruits during the UPA III. He also said that 100 bedded hospitals have been constructed in five districts and the remaining districts will be covered shortly.

He also declared that Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal had been upgraded to the AIIMS like status. The Rajiv Gandhi NIT will soon be constructed in Manipur. The government is giving special stress on healthcare services since there are plans to improve the healthcare tourism in Manipur for the benefit of the East Asian countries.

The Tulihal airport had recently been upgraded to an international one. He also ridiculed the opposition plan to impose the Gujarat model on other states. He said that each state has its own model and there is no need to copy model of another state.

The Congress party unit in Imphal had arranged 12,000 chairs in the meeting venue. After roughly counting the people squatting or standing in the field it is estimated that about 30,000 persons were present in the meeting held from 2:10 pm to 3:37 pm. Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh had said that about 50,000 persons would attend the meeting.

Security measures were beefed up in Imphal east and Imphal west and Thoubal districts on the occasion of the visit of Mr. Gandhi. Police say there was no untoward incident despite the general strike and boycott calls given by two underground organisations.