‘Humble’ Rahul Gandhi charms partymen in Dakshina Kannada

Mangaluru: If Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, intended to make an impression on his partymen during his visit to  Udupi and Dakshina Kannada on Wednesday, he seems to have succeeded as the Congress leaders, who met him, came away praising his  “humility and focus.” 

Following his roadshow and public meetings, the Congress president had stayed overnight at the Manglauru Circuit House on Tuesday and took time out the next morning to meet block Congress presidents, and senior leaders and office bearers of the party units  of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi.

Most seemed to be impressed by the patient listening he gave them and the interest he showed in local issues. Instead of attacking the Modi government as he did in his public meetings, Mr Gandhi reportedly concentrated on issues concerning the party, and ways to strengthen it at the grassroots with the block leaders. He was also interested in  knowing why  the Congress had lost in  Sullia, the only Assembly constituency of the  eight  in DK district that went to the BJP during the last Assembly poll. “Although it is a traditional BJP seat, Rahul was keen on studying the reasons for our defeat in the constituency,” said one leader, adding, "This was really good of him. It showed his commitment to the party. We have seen other (Congress) leaders hold meetings only to speak about themselves. But Rahul Gandhi seemed to  understand the need to build the party from the grassroots and gave everyone a chance to speak.”

His parting photo session seemed to leave the greatest impression, however. "When we wanted to take a  photo with him, Rahul himself came over and took it with us. We cannot imagine another Congress leader doing this! We have had leaders who would hardly wave at us. And here we have an AICC president, who is so humble, that he himself came to us, shook our hands and posed for  photographs. We feel the Congress  now has a future as we have a leader who listens to workers and the people,” the district Congress leader gushed. 

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