Sonia celebrates victory with workers at Janpath
New Delhi, May 11: Congress president Sonia Gandhi today celebrated her record margin victory in the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha by-election with ecstatic party workers who braved the scorching sun and thronged her official 10 Janpath residence to wish her a long life and a bright political future.
Within minutes after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh personally congratulated Ms Gandhi on her victory, she made a brief appearance before the workers. Her appearance created an electric effect on the sweltering workers who chanted "Long Live Sonia" and scrambled to get a glimpse of their leader.
Waving to the cheering crowd, Sonia, sporting a printed black salwar suit, remained before them for just a minute while standing on the footsteps of a Tata Safari car inside the gate barricaded by makeshift railings. She politely turned down the request of waiting TV crews on her sweep in the by-election.
Many of the workers said they had come from Rae Bareli for the occasion and were waiting there since last night.
"We were sure of her victory with a huge margin. So thought this is the appropriate place to celebrate this historic moment," said Ganga Ram who is heading group of 15 persons from the constituency.
The mood of the crowd is visibly different from the two previous occasions when the 10 Janpath vicinity turned into a human sea. A similar crowd was witnessed when Ms Sonia refused to accept the post of Prime Minister after the Congress won the May 2004 Lok Sabha elections and also when she resigned from Lok Sabha and the chairmanship of the National Advisory Council (NAC) on March 23 this year. But the crowd this time is in a mood of enjoyment.
Party workers came in groups from different parts of the country and took out a procession on Akbar road, chanting pro-Sonia slogans.
Some groups were engaged in drum beating while others were setting off fire crackers.
Many portions of Akbar road were littered with flower petals.
Party workers hope that Ms Gandhi will appear before them again.