Tiruchirappalli (TN), Jul 22: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is expected to discuss farmers' issues including the Land bill that has led to a raging debate between the NDA and opposition, during his one-day visit to the state on Thursday, July 23.
This will also mark his first visit after the party suffered a split in the state last November. Gandhi's schedule includes a rally and an interaction with farmers here before leaving for New Delhi.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the rally which includes deployment of over 1500 police personnel. The state party unit has undertaken massive preparations for the meet at the G Corner grounds here.
Apart from addressing a rally here as part of the celebrations of the birth anniversary of party stalwart and former Chief Minister K Kamaraj, he is also scheduled to interact with a group of farmers.
The party vice president's visit in the midst of Parliament session assumes significance as this will be the first mega meeting he will address after senior leader G K Vasan parted ways to launch the Tamil Maanila Congress.
Gandhi's visit is also seen as an attempt to motivate party cadres ahead of the state assembly elections next year. Observers feel that Congress is keen to retain the legacy of the late leader Kamaraj to which Vasan's TMC too is now staking claim.
Interestingly, a war of words broke out recently between TNCC chief EVKS Elangovan and BJP leader and Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan over invoking the name of Kamaraj.
While Elangovan said the BJP does not have any locus standi to talk of the late leader, Radhakrishnan said all patriots could hail him and follow in his footsteps.
A freedom fighter and Gandhian, Kamaraj's regime is credited with taking education to the less privileged through his noon-meal scheme.
Rahul Gandhi's last visit to Tamil Nadu was in April 2014 in the run up to Lok Sabha polls.
He had then said, "The party will fight to come to power in the state."
Although he had said that "Tamil Nadu model was better than the Gujarat model" during that rally, it remains to be seen what political line he takes as the State Congress unit has been highly critical of the AIADMK regime. Also, this is the first big party meeting after Elangovan took charge as president of the Tamil Nadu unit after senior leader B S Gnanadesikan exited with Vasan.