Rahul Gandhi boards local train in Mumbai

Feb 05, 2010, 14:40 IST | A Correspondent

Discarding security considerations, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Friday boarded a local train from Andheri station to reach Ghatkopar.

Discarding security considerations, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Friday boarded a local train from Andheri station to reach Ghatkopar.

Rahul Gandhi hopped into a second class compartment to travel from Andheri to Dadar (WR). Just like any other commuter, Gandhi got down at Dadar station to board a 1.29 pm Central Railway local to Ghatkopar.

As per the original plans, he was scheduled to fly in a helicopter.

Officials of both the WR and CR claimed ignorance of the Congress leader's travel plans and said they were not informed about it by his security personnel, according to a news report.

Gandhi also stopped at an ATM in Santa Cruz before hopping into the Mumbai local.

Gandhi is headed towards Ramambai Nagar in suburban Ghatkopar to interact with the slum youth.

At Ramabai nagar, Gandhi will garland a statue of Babasaheb Ambedkar, pay homage and then interact with select slum youths.

Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi addressed college students at Bhaidas Hall, Vile Parle in a function organised by the Youth Congress.

Rahul Gandhi arrived in Mumbai amid tight security following Shiv Sena's call for black flag demonstrations against him for his "Mumbai for all Indians" remark even as three Sena activists were detained after they tried to enter his itinerary venue.

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and top cops including Mumbai Police Commissioner are overseeing Gandhi's security. Along with the city cops, commandos of the National Security Guard (NSG), Rapid Action Force and other forces have been deployed.

Mumbai police arrested many Shiv Sena activists across the city today, ahead of the Congress leader's visit to to the city.

Police arrest Shiv Sena protestors ahead of Rahul Gandhi's Mumbai visit. PIC/Datta Kumbhar

Shiv Sena activists protesting Rahul Gandhi's Mumbai visit. PIC/Datta Kumbhar

Sena corporator, Rajul Patel, and two others were arrested after they attempted to enter through the security posts at Bhaidas Hall in suburban Vile Parle, police said.

Tight security measures are in place after Sena chief Bal Thackeray asked his partymen yesterday to greet the Congress leader with black flags to protest his remarks on Mumbai.

Heavy security has been deployed at the venue in Ghatkopar where Gandhi is scheduled to visit later in the day. Shops in the area remained closed and the cops rounded up several trouble makers last night as a preventive measure.

According to reports, this is Rahul's first visit to the financial capital after he became the AICC General Secretary.

Hundreds of policemen are on guard at Vile Parle railway station, bus stops and the road leading to the venue.

The entire road leading to the venue and across the city was dotted with posters that read - 'Fight an election, become a leader.'

Gandhi will be leaving for Pondicherry at 2.30pm after his half-day meet in Mumbai. He is also scheduled to inaugurate a Rs two crore stadium named after his father, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, on the Puducherry University premises. The interaction programme is organised by National Students Union of India (NSUI).

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