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Sonia to visit Rae Bareli next week

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Lucknow, Mar 24 (UNI) AICC president Sonia Gandhi, who resigned from the Lok Sabha and the post of chairperson, National Advisory Council, is set to visit Rae Bareli-- the constituency she represented in Parliament.

UP Congress sources told UNI here Ms Gandhi could reach Rae Bareli on Monday for a two-day visit. ''The dates are not confirmed ...she could be here on Monday morning,'' a senior party leader said here.

Her visit assumes significance as she had announced to fight the elections once again after resigning from the seat yesterday, following protests by SP and BJP over holding an office of profit.

People turned out in hordes in Amethi,the Parliamentary constituency of Sonia's son Rahul to welcome her decision to resign.

Raising slogans, people burnt the effigies of BJP national president Rajnath Singh and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha L K Advani.

Sonia was elected to Lok Sabha from Amethi in 1998. People said the move would force the Opposition to sit back and appreciate her decision.

In Rae Bareli, while people lamented the development, they expressed happinesss that Sonia Gandhi would contest the elections again from the seat.

People took to the streets shouting pro-Sonia Gandhi slogans after the news of her resignation was announced.

Equating her with former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, locals gathered at Tilak Bhawan -- the Rae Bareli Congress office -- and shouted slogans.

''People of Rae Bareli are not unhappy with the decision...they are happy that she has taken the wind out of Opposition's onslaught on the 'office of profit' issue,'' said Uttar Pradesh Congress chief spokesperson A P Singh in the state capital.

UNI NAB AS LS BST1248

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