Rahul feels sorry for 'huddled' mediapersons

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Hubli, Mar 26 (UNI) AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi today regretted that mediapersons were treated badly during his visit Mangalore this morning as part of his 5-day visit to Karnataka.

When he came out of his security cover to speak to the waiting newspersons just before a function here, he was surprised to see mediamen huddled in a small enclosure.

"You are in a cage. It is not fair." During his visit to Mangalore, mediamen had been summarily evicted from a venue where he had spoken to college students. This had resulted in a protest by the journalists.

Reacting to a question he said he pleaded that was not avoiding the media. "No I am not avoiding the media. I just don't want to disappoint you. Most of the times just a couple of journalists come to me and ask for quotes and if I do so, others become unhappy. All of you come together and I have no problem to speak to you," he said.

Asked whether he had come to rejuvenate the party in Karnataka, he said he had just come to meet the people. "I am here to meet the people and interact with them and know their mind and nothing else.

"I am enjoying my trip quite a lot. Meeting people and socialising with them I simply love it. When you meet people you gain a lot of knowledge and understanding and we all need this," he said.

On criticism of Janata Dal(S) and the BJP on his visit and allegation that he was only copying JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy's earlier village visits, he refused to react. "I am here just to meet people," he said cryptically.

When asked whether he would be the next Prime Ministerial candidate and what would be his priority once he became the PM, Rahul departed by saying, "Now better I should run." UNI MA RS SKB1923

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