It is not every day that a schoolboy in a remote village gets candid with the leader of Indias oldest political party.
Harsha, a Class 4 student from the Panditahalli village in Malavalli, had a walk to remember with Congresss president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday.
As the Janaarshivada Yatra entourage entered the village, the sight of a scrawny little fellow wearing a Congress flag around the neck caught Rahuls attention. Rahul got off the bus and walked straight up to Harsha, taking by surprise the boy as well as his special protection group (SPG) personnel.
Rahul put his arms around Harsha and the two walked a distance to a roadside tea stall. “He asked me something in Hindi, which I didnt understand,” Harsha told DH. “Someone translated it into Kannada. He was asking what my name was.”
At the tea stall, Rahul sipped tea with biscuits and peanut chikki. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, KPCC president G Parameshwara, Mallikarjuna Kharge and others joined him.
Rahul gave the tea stall â‚¹2,000, DK Shivakumar gave â‚¹2,000 and Parameshwara gave â‚¹500.
This was not the only scare Rahul had for members of his security detail. At Santhemarahalli, Rahul got off to greet villagers who turned up in large numbers to welcome him. Local police had a tough time managing the crowd. Similarly, in another village, Rahul got off to greet women who were waiting for him with bellada deepa (jaggery lamp).
In Kollegal, Rahul inaugurated an Indira Canteen, where he had dosa and vada.
Harsha wants to be a police officer when he grows up. “I had only heard of his name,” he said. Someday, Harsha might look back and remember the day he walked with a man touted to be Indias next prime minister.
DH News Service
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