Rahul rides in metro, browses for books in Bengaluru (Lead)
Bengaluru April 8 (IANS) ACongress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday took time off his busy schedule to ride in a crowded metro and went shopping for books at a bookstore here.
"Gandhi accompanied by party leaders rode the metro and later shopped for some books at a bookstore in the city centre " a party official said.
The party chief boarded the busy metro at Vidhana Soudha metro station and alighted at MG Road station after a five-minute ride via Cubbon Park metro station in the central business district.
Gandhi who is on a two-day weekend visit to poll-bound Karnataka delighted fellow commuters by posing for selfies.
Party s state unit chief G.Parameshwara Chief Minister Siddaramaiah senior party leader Mallikarjun Kharge and state in-charge K.C.Venugopal among others accompanied him on the metro ride. Siddaramaiah bought the tickets for all the party leaders.
After alighting at the MG Road metro station Gandhi walked across the high street which was recently renovated to showcase as a vehicle-free pedestrian plaza.
He walked into The Bookworm bookstore on Church Street in the upscale street to browse through books while Siddaramaiah bought and gifted five books to him.
These included Tamil writer Perumal Murugan s "The Goat Thief" British author Karen Armstrong s "A History of God" "The Art of Living" by Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh and a book on the Japanese concept of Ikigai which means a reason for being .
Earlier in the day Gandhi had interacted with a gathering of influential women from the city at an upscale five-star hotel which included Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw among others.A
He also met slain Kannada journalist Gauri Lankesh s sister and Kannada film director Kavitha at the interaction who gifted Gandhi a book on Lankesh s writings titled "The Way I See It: AGauri Lankesh Reader".
Lankesh 55 the Editor of "Lankesh Patrike" was shot dead outside her residence in the city s southwestern suburb by unidentified assailants on September 5 last year by unidentified men.
"Thank you for your kind words @RahulGandhi and forAre-instilling hope that there will always be space for freedom of speech " Kavitha tweeted after the interaction.
During the day Gandhi also had a meal at a popular restaurant in the city centre Koshy s where the restaurant staff showed him the pictures of his grandmother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and great grandfather and the country s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru dining at the well-known eatery.