Sonia braves inclement weather to reach textile town

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Erode, Sep 4 (UNI) Congress president Sonia Gandhi braved sore throat, technical snag and bad weather to keep her assurance to the party cadres in this textile town today.

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee(TNCC) leaders grew anxious as Ms Gandhi almost cancelled her trip to this town after the flight developed a technical snag and diverted to Bangalore.

The leaders, including Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, E V K S Elangovan and G K Vasan spent anxious moments as Ms Gandhi's flight, instead of landing at Coimbatore, landed at Bangalore due to the snag.

However, they heaved a sigh of relief when Ms Gandhi assured that she would somehow make it to Erode.

As authorities in Bangalore set right the technical snag, weather played spoil sport.

Ms Gandhi was planning to land back at Coimbatore and reach Erode by taking a helicopter when the sky over Erode turned grey, ruling out the possibility. Since she was going to make the trip, she decided to take the Coimbatore route to reach Erode, covering about 100 km.

A huge crowd, gathered at the venue at around 1300 hrs, were willing to wait for Ms Gandhi, braving inclement weather for her to reach the venue by a helicopter. Ms Gandhi, at last, reached here at 1800 hrs, two hours behind schedule and finished her speech in 10 minutes to go back to Coimbatore by the same helicopter.

''I almost felt that I will miss Erode, but how can I miss this historical place, the birth place of rationalist leader Periyar E V Ramasamy,'' she said amid loud cheers.

Ms Gandhi was suffering from sore throat problem throughout her journey.

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