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Karnataka Election Result: Rahul Gandhi's Record Setting Travels Across Karnataka

Rahul Gandhi has travelled all 30 districts of Karnataka, a record for the president of a national party.

Updated:May 15, 2018, 9:03 AM IST
Karnataka Election Result: Rahul Gandhi's Record Setting Travels Across Karnataka
Congress party president Rahul Gandhi, center, rides a bicycle and waves to his supporters while campaigning for Karnataka state legislative elections in Malur, 45 kilometers (28 miles) from Bangalore. (PTI Photo)
New Delhi: About six month ago, some Karnataka Congress leaders used to joke in private that they might do better minus Rahul Gandhi’s campaign in the Karnataka Assembly elections. Now, however, Gandhi has a different image. The Congress president led the party from the front, giving hope to the cadres across Karnataka.

And the party men explain that after Gujarat Assembly elections they are seeing a different Rahul Gandhi who is fully charged and ready to do leg work for the Congress. Rahul Gandhi kicked off his Karnataka tour in the last week of January from Bellary district and travelled the entire length and breadth of the state, covering all 30 states.

Unlike Modi and Amit Shah of the BJP, he mostly travelled by a special bus to easily mingled with the people. He took a bus ride from Bellary to Gulbarga, covering a distance of over 400 km and holding public and corner meetings at several places. His first leg was a success and the party decided to stick to the same formula.

In February, he toured Lingayat dominated Mumbai – Karnataka region, comprising seven districts, again in a bus using helicopters occasionally. That leg was also a success. In the third, fourth and fifth leg also Rahul Gandhi mostly used a bus to travel length and breadth of the state.

“He is a bundle of endless energy. He inspires both party leaders and workers. He leads us from the front. Wherever Rahul Gandhi campaigned in the last two months, we have got a very good response,” Karnataka state Congress working president Dinesh Gundurao said.

Rahul Gandhi has travelled all 30 districts of the state, a record for the president of a national party.

His temple run has also been a big hit among Congress supporters. He has visited over a dozen big temples and Mutts during his Karnataka tour and is likely to visit a few more before Karnataka votes on May 12.

“The BJP was spreading rumours that Rahul Gandhi is lazy, he can’t do hard work, he is not for Hindus etc. But Rahul Gandhi has proved them wrong. The BJP and RSS lies have been exposed. They are now rattled by the response he is getting all over Karnataka,” said a senior leader of the Congress.

Unlike in the past, Rahul Gandhi is now using high-end technology to connect with the people. All his tours and rallies were beamed live on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. His Hindi speeches were translated into Kannada by a senior leader of the party at every place.

Rahul Gandhi also met block Congress and district party presidents in each district and discussing the poll scenario. “He is trying to endear himself to the cadre and local level leaders. It was not the case earlier. We are happy with this. We can frankly exchange our views with him. He listens to us and takes decisions,” said a district Congress president.

One has to wait and see if the support he is drawing gets translated into votes for the Congress.
| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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