Bengaluru, April 9: Congress president Rahul Gandhi's day-long stint and stunts in India's IT hub Bengaluru on Sunday gave every tourist some serious travel goals. He ticked all the right boxes and touched all possible milestones. From interacting with reporters, meeting pourakarmikas (sanitation workers), business honchos and women, travelling in the metro, buying books to ending his hectic day-long schedule by addressing thousands of people at a public rally, Rahul's Bengaluru itinerary was an envious one.
It is not just tourists who are feeling a tad "jealous" about Rahul's "superpower" to hop from one place to another in a single day without any hiccups in Bengaluru; even the residents are wondering how to travel "freely" like the Congress president in a city notorious for its traffic jams.
Residents have admitted to OneIndia that Rahul has "pulled off a coup" of sorts in Bengaluru where travelling four-five kilometers a day can easily take two hours. Then not to forget about the amount of stress and physical pain one has to endure to reach his/her office or school/college while negotiating city's traffic which during peak hours is slower than a snail.
Thankfully, it was a Sunday and offices and educational institutions were all closed, and roads were relatively empty. But in the evening hours all mall and pub hoppers thronged the city roads like they were all in a pilgrimage. Rahul, the "superman", managed to "bypass" the evening crowd and traffic when he reached Palace Grounds almost on time to address thousands of his supporters.
He not only addressed his supporters and fans, he made promises galore to women, sanitation workers and one all, who had the privilege of hugging and taking selfies with him. Remember, he did everything with a smile. He also bought five books, which book lovers hope he reads amid his hectic election duty.
While a common man on the street was happy to see Rahul travelling and meeting ordinary Bengalureans like a regular guy, but critics saw his day-long sojourn in India's IT hub more of optics than genuine concern for the residents.
"The elections are only a month away. Why only blame Rahul? All our political leaders will act like the nicest persons one could hope to meet in today's world," said an activist who works in the health sector.
Similarly, college-goer and a first-time voter, Rohini Mohan, who went to see Rahul at the evening public rally, told that the Congress president's concerns are genuine. "He is speaking what every Bengalurean wants to hear. Unfortunately, his party is in power in Karnataka. The Congress has failed to improve city's infrastructure. Bad roads, traffic jams and water scarcity are some of the main concerns of the residents," said Rohini.
When asked whether she would vote for the Congress or the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the college-goer said that she was not convinced with any of the parties. "I have one month's time, hope by then I will know well whom to vote," Rohini smiled.
Recently, the Election Commission (EC) announced the date for the polls in Karnataka. While the voting will take place on May 12, the counting of votes will be held on May 15. The state Assembly has 224 seats.
|Karnataka Assembly Election dates|
|Date of notification||April 17|
|Last date to file nominations||April 24|
|Last date to withdraw nominations||April 27|
|Date of polling||May 12|
|Date of counting||May 15|