The lazy Sunday morning in Gollapalli in Mahbubnagar district in Telangana was turned into a sprint field as 52-year young Rahul Gandhi challenged a few young boys for a sprint even as other Congress leaders were caught unawares.
‘Race Lagaoge’, he asked the young kids even as they were chatting with him and took off. Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president A. Revanth Reddy and other senior leaders apart from the security personnel were caught off-guard by the race and followed their leader.
After running for about 50 metres, Mr. Gandhi stopped and had a little chat with the kids gasping for breath and the amused boys had some little moments of unforgettable laughter with Mr. Gandhi even as the sprint infused some spirit into the chilly Sunday morning.
The video was shared on the Twitter account of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ with comments “Out for a marathon, but let’s sprint” and adding “While we are walking, let’s bring up speed, let’s unite to bring together the country.”
After the sprint, Mr. Gandhi also experienced the culture of Telangana as he played around Bathukammas along with some women who brought the Batukammas, AICC general secretary Jairam Ramesh, Mr. Revanth Reddy and a host of other Congress leaders.
Though the Bathukamma festival is celebrated during the 9-day Dasara festival in the Telangana region it was organised specially for Mr. Gandhi. The festival involves women playing around the ‘flower goddesses’ and singing local devotional songs.
Earlier, Mr. Gandhi resumed his walkathon and covered over 23 kilometres on the fifth day of the yatra in Telangana. During the daybreak, he met intellectuals, and leaders of various communities and they shared their views on issues concerning the country.
He interacted with around 45 civil society representatives from Telangana where he explained the background of the Bharat Jodo Yatra and also covered issues like what to do to deal with growing economic inequalities, social polarisation, and political authoritarianism. He made the point that those who spread fear and intimidate are, in fact, the ones who are scared of true democracy and scared of people's power.
Mr. Gandhi said that while all other political parties represent one or another section of society Congress is the only one that appeals to and derives its strength from all sections.