Metro ride, buying books and a public rally: Rahul's busy Sunday

Metro ride, buying books and a public rally: Rahul's busy Sunday

Metro ride, buying books and a public rally: Rahul's busy Sunday

The staff at Bookworm were taken by surprise on Sunday morning when Congress president Rahul Gandhi walked into the store, after riding the metro from Vidhana Soudha to MG Road.

Clad in white Kurta Pajama, Rahul walked straight into the literature section where Preetam Gowda, a staffer, showed him some classics and bestsellers.

"He asked me to recommend some books on religion and philosophy and chose three of the five books I recommended, including 'History of God'. He also asked for 'The Goat Thief' (Perumal Murugan)," Gowda said.

Store manager Krishnegowda said they were not informed of Rahul's visit and it was a "pleasant surprise". "He appreciated our rare collection section and curiously asked about prices of some of the old books printed in the early 18th century. He picked 'Ikigai' (by Francesc Miralles) from the billing table and added it to his cart," he said.

The "soft-spoken" leader got the 20% discount on books like any other customer and walked out in 15 minutes. But a staffer said the store personnel had a tough time in handling the crowd that followed Rahul.

"Many of them wanted to take pictures with him. It took a few minutes for them to clear out of the store," the staffer said.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah paid the bill, which came up to Rs 2,546 after a discount of Rs 546. When asked why Rahul chose their shop and not the others nearby, a staffer said some of the Congress leaders who had visited their shop may have recommended it.

"Rajeev Gowda (Rajya Sabha MP) and Rizwan Arshad (MLC) often buy books here. Krishna Byre Gowda has also visited us several times. They might have recommended our store," he said.

Rahul also had lunch at Koshy's and a kulfi at the stall outside Bowring Institute.

Crowded metro

Earlier, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah bought Metro tokens for all the visitors at the Vidhana Soudha Station counter and took a selfie with Rahul. The train was crowded and leaders travelled by standing near the door.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people waiting for the Congress president at Rajiv Gandhi circle near Mantri Mall since 9 am got tired. By the time the Gandhi scion descended at 11 am, half of the crowd had left owing to the searing heat.

Looking at his father's statue, Rahul turned emotional before offering floral tributes.

Moments before Rahul Gandhi turned up, five-year-old Shravani had lost her mother in the crowd and came crying to RT Nagar Inspector Nandish.

The police officer, who was already tensed over Rahul's arrival, told the 'pourakarmikas' standing nearby to take care of the child.

After the Congress president left the place, police announced the name of the child on the microphone. Rajeshwari, Shravani's mother, came running to the jeep to get her daughter.

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