First rally of Sonia in Mah after K'taka elections

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Shirdi, Jun 18 (UNI) Putting behind the Karanataka debacle, Congress president Sonia Gandhi is expected to address a huge rally of farmers and women tomorrow near the world-famous shrine of Sai Baba.

The UPA chairperson will come here at noon. After 'aarati' at the temple, she would be felicitated by the Mandir management committee.

Jayant Sasane, chairman and MLA from Ahmednagar district, told UNI in an exclusive chat that Ms Gandhi would be presented with a Baba memento and an Sai Baba biography in English.

He said the darshan queue would be stopped at the noon 'aarati' and the Mandir would be closed for about 20 minutes, the time reserved for her visit.

Ms Gandhi will address a huge rally at Loni about 20 km from Shirdi.

Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil, MP and prominent leader of the sugar co-operative movement in Maharashtra, is the inspiration behind tomorrow's programme.

Ms Gandhi would be accompanied by Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Union Energy Minister Sushilkumar Shinde. Chief Minster Vilasrao Deshmukh and MPCC president Prabha Rau.

UNI XR SSS RL KP2200

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