Selfies, Metro Ride, Book Shopping: Rahul Gandhi’s Day Out In Bengaluru

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Selfies, Metro Ride, Book Shopping: Rahul Gandhi’s Day Out In Bengaluru

Bengaluru: Bengaluru city has 28 assembly constituencies – a good number of seats in the total of 224 that will elect their MLAs in next month’s Karnataka Assembly. So little wonder that Congress president Rahul Gandhi not just decided to spend a day in the city but also pulled out all the stops to make his presence felt.

As he moved from one place to another, the Congress leader also took public transport – at least between the seat of government, Vidhana Soudha, to the Mahatma Gandhi road. He travelled by the Metro, Bengaluru’s Namma Metro, shared a joke with passengers and took selfies with them.

Rahul Gandhi is also set to address a rally at Palace Grounds later in the evening. Since it is a Sunday, the normally traffic-choked city was spared traffic snarls as a result of the visit for much of the day. But that changed later in the evening due to the large number of people who turned up at the rally.

His day began with an informal meet with journalists – where he talked of the battle of ideologies in the state and how Karnataka could teach the country because of its synthetic culture. He said it was a battle between Bengaluru and Nagpur – a reference to the location of the RSS headquarters, the ideological mentor of the BJP.

From the five-star hotel where that meet was held, Mr Gandhi then went to a lower income group area – to meet corporation workers of the BBMP, or pourakarmikas, at a location near an open drain.

Optics are of course important in any campaign and he pulled his chair from the small stage that had been erected and dragged it down to the same level as the workers. The gesture earned him a loud round of cheers. The workers – who had clearly been specially chosen, largely spoke of support from the Congress government. Some of them even spoke to Mr Gandhi in a language not their mother tongue – Hindi.

Jayamma took the microphone to say that she had been a contract worker for 25 years and wanted to be made a permanent employee. Her stand was echoed by Muthyalappa, who said, without a guaranteed salary, it was difficult to raise children.

The next event was for the well- heeled – as the Congress president met members of the business community at the Jnana Jyothi Auditorium. He also had a session described as a ‘Conversation with women of Bengaluru’ that was closed to the media.

In between, Rahul Gandhi took a break from his schedule to visit the Bengaluru home of veteran Congresswoman Margaret Alva to pay his condolences. Ms Alva had lost her husband, Niranjan Thomas Alva, on Saturday morning.

And the Congress president also stopped off at a bookshop where he bought books including Karen Armstrong’s ‘A History of God’ two books by Thich Nhat Hanh’s, including ‘The Art of Living,’ and Perumal Murugan’s ‘The Goat Thief’.

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