Woman SHG members 'shower' Rahul with roses

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Belur, Karnataka, Mar 27 (UNI) Congress' youth icon Rahul Gandhi continued to jump the tight security cordon during his 'Discover India Tour' when today he stopped to accept roses offered by nearly 1,000 women members belonging to SHGs at this village in Bagalkot District today.

Similar action by the Congress MP, who is on a five-day visit to the State to 'feel the pulse of the common people' during his recent visit to Orissa had caused jitters to the security agencies.

This time, too, he could hardly resist the opportunity to meet the people as the large group of women, holding roses in their hands, waved at him to stop.

Not caring for his own security, Mr Gandhi made an unscheduled stop by bringing his convoy to a halt and rushed towards the group.

The excited women also rushed towards him and offered him the roses.

He obliged by personally accepting the roses from nearly 125 of them, one by one and later continued with his journey.

Mr Gandhi asked the women about the financial status and their achievements as members of SHGs.

They told him how the SHG movement had made a big difference to their life and said many of them were now in a position to maintain their families on their earnings.

''Please ask the banks to increase the allocation for SHGs. We can achieve bigger things if we get more financial allocation.

''Mind you, we have been the best repayers and have not defaulted the loans even once,'' they stressed.

Earlier, Mr Gandhi made a similar gesture by stopping at a school while travelling from University of Agricultural Sciences Campus to NTTF near Hubli.

When he saw school children playing in the premises of Presentation School, he ordered the driver to stop the car.

He walked briskly towards the school gate even as the security personnel followed him.

Thrilled students virtually cordoned him with each one of them extending their arms to shake hands with the young leader. Mr Gandhi did not disappoint them.

Mr Gandhi made similar unscheduled stops at Siraguppi Government High School near Hubli and Nehru Vidya Niketan at Annigeri in Gadag District.

UNI MV-MNP RS PDT KN2003

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