Rahul Gandhi’s surprise visit in Karnataka during last days of campaigning


On the last day of campaigning for the Karnataka Assembly elections, Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the Indian National Congress, made an impromptu visit to a coffee shop on Cunningham Road in Bangalore. He spent about 15 minutes talking to customers and posing for pictures with them.

After leaving the coffee shop, Rahul ran into several people, including working women and students, waiting at a nearby bus stop. He posed for pictures with them and hopped onto a BMTC bus. During the nearly half-hour bus ride, he met about 10 women and generally chatted with the passengers. He specifically asked the women if they were aware of the Sakhi scheme, a poll promise by the Congress offering free rides to women on government buses across Karnataka.

Rahul got off the bus at Lingarajapuram in eastern Bangalore and again interacted with a group of women near the bus stop. He met a teacher, an IT professional, a housewife, and a student among the women and spoke to them about their problems and needs. He generally asked them about price rise, their work and job prospects, and briefed them about the five guarantees the Congress has given to the people of Karnataka.

The Congress has promised 200 free units of power to each household every month under the Gruha Jyothi scheme; 10 kilos of free rice a month for every member of poor families under the Anna Bhagya scheme; Rs 2,000 to every woman head of a household each month under the Gruha Lakshmi scheme; free bus rides for women under the Sakhi scheme; and the Yuva Nidhi scheme that offers Rs 3,000 to graduates and Rs 1,500 to diploma holders every month for two years or until they find employment, whichever is earlier.

The interactions took up almost an hour, from the coffee shop to the meetings at Lingarajapuram. Rahul later left for Delhi.

On Sunday evening, Rahul made a surprise appearance at the Airlines Hotel in Bangalore where he spoke to customers and delivery boys who were waiting to pick up their orders. He spoke to lots of delivery boys about the problems faced by gig workers who work hard to make ends meet. He rode with one of them on his scooter for some distance to understand the problems they face.

Rahul has the knack of dropping in unannounced at small eateries and bakeries. In Wayanad, which he represented in the Lok Sabha till recently before being disqualified, he often resorted to this method to meet ordinary people in an informal environment


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