NATIONAL

Sonia wraps up Haryana road show

HISSAR (HARYANA), FEB. 26. The Congress president Sonia Gandhi wrapped up her two-day `Jan Sampark Yatra' in Haryana at the industrial township of Rai this evening after covering about 600 km, which included seven of the 10 Lok Sabha constituencies in the State.

Even before she set out on the whistle-stop `road show' from the PWD Rest House here, Ms. Gandhi thanked the people of the State in anticipation of yet another day of "enthusiastic" response.

As far as the turnout was concerned, her expectations were not ill founded as the crowds gathered along the route which today stuck primarily to the State highway. Starting out early despite being on the road till close to midnight on Wednesday, the Congress president was mobbed by crowds as she came out of the Rest House amid rumours that a large number of Dalits had decided to block the road in Jind so that she would have to step out to meet them.

Though the cavalcade raced through Jind without any hiccups, at many places, the police had a tough time preventing the crowds from breaking through the barricades to greet her and garland her. Given the preparations that had gone into making the Yatra a success, there were also many who returned disappointed as Ms. Gandhi did not step out of her car in their village. Those who managed to grab some of the garlands Ms. Gandhi threw back at them returned home pleased with their `souvenirs.'

But the happiest of them all were the select few who could claim that Ms. Gandhi had come to visit them, as she did some women near Tohana village and some brick kiln workers further down the highway. Still, in comparison to Day One, there was lesser number of stops today as pressing party matters beckoned her back to Delhi.