KOLAR: Congress president Rahul Gandhi rode a bicycle, carried a cylinder made of cardboard and walked into a gully to connect with voters during a roadshow at Malur on Monday.
Rahul participated in roadshows at Malur, Hoskote, Devanahalli, and Doddaballapur on Monday. He got a good reception even before his helicopter landed at Malur as the crowds, waiting under the scorching sun since morning, cheered after spotting the chopper. Large crowds flanked both sides of the main road where Rahul's entourage passed. Some had also climbed buildings to get a better view.
Gandhi surprised supporters when he suddenly disembarked from the vehicle and started walking. A bigger surprise awaited supporters, when a bicycle was brought to him and the Congress president rode it, as a protest against fuel price rise. A group of women were also protesting against the issue by carrying fake cooking gas cylinders on their heads. The cylinders had the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi being crossed out on them. Rahul too then carried one of the cylinders on his head.
At the end of the rally, Rahul climbed atop a vehicle to give his speech and even took the mike in his hand, but then seemed to change his mind. He spoke to his entourage, disembarked and entered a narrow lane to meet the crowd. He then climbed a bullock cart painted in the colours of the tricolour to deliver his speech.
Rahul continued his tirade against Modi, B S Yeddyurappa and the BJP. He attacked Modi on the issues of fuel price rise and for allegedly fielding corrupt and tainted candidates, like the Reddy brothers and their associates. He also asked the JD(S) to decide whether they will support the Congress or the BJP, saying, "JD(S) has to decide whether it is Janata Dal (Secular) or Janata Dal (Sangh Parivar)."
On the way to his next destination Hoskote, Rahul was showered with flower petals from people waiting along the two sides of the road. However, at Hoskote, when he was offered a large garland mounted on a crane, he refused.
A large crowd cheered him on at Hoskote as he again attacked BJP. People were seen climbing up fences and trees outside the ground where the event took place to get a glimpse of the Congress leader. In his speech there, Rahul gave examples of pro-poor schemes which the Congress government had introduced in its tenure, and promised to waive farmer loans within 10 days, if Congress came to power at the Centre in 2019. "After Congress comes to power in Karnataka, not a single person will be homeless after five years, for we will build 50 lakh homes in the state in five years," he added.
At Malur, Rahul was accompanied by AICC general secretary and Karnataka in-charge K C Venugopal, Malur Congress candidate K Y Nanje Gowda, Rajya Sabha MP B K Hariprasad, Minister for Health and Srinivaspur candidate K R Ramesh Kumar, Kolar candidate Syed Zameer Pasha, senior leader V R Sudarshan, and Chintamani candidate Vani Krishnareddy. At Hoskote, Congress candidate from Hoskote N Nagaraju and senior leader Veerappa Moily spoke.