Koppal, (DHNS): Congress president Rahul Gandhi's second day of his Karnataka tour did not, by any means, look or feel like it was a Sunday.
Rahul started the day by garlanding Rani Chennamma's statue in Yalburga, before hitting the road in his specially-designed tour bus.
Downtown Kushtagi beat the laziness of a sunny Sunday morning to give Gandhi a rousing welcome. Among hordes of supporters were women in green sarees queued up with kalashas on their head, waiting to give Gandhi a traditional welcome. Visibly overwhelmed, Gandhi got down and walked a few hundred metres on the road, waving and greeting them.
As the bus moved from one village to another, Gandhi was seen glued to his phone or looking out of the window at the lush green fields of the countryside.
Sizeable crowds awaited Gandhi all along his route, even in smaller villages such as Hulihyder, Medidal and Siddapura.
Short, sharp speeches
"Namaskara. Channagiddira?" was how Gandhi began his short speech at Kushtagi. These five-minute-long speeches that he went on to make at Tavaragera and Gangavati were sharper in their attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Modi comes to Karnataka and talks corruption, but the BJP government in Karnataka had three chief ministers, four ministers went to jail and eleven resigned due to corruption," Gandhi said.
Rahul continued his temple run by visiting the Kanakachala Lakshmi Narasimha temple in Kanakagiri. Local residents say the temple is at least 500 years old and was built by a chieftain named Hulicheppa Nayaka. Gandhi spent about 10 minutes here.
The temple boasts of Dravidian architecture of the Vijayanagar era and is a protected monument of the Archaeological Survey of India. It is said that the deity in the temple is a Saligrama (fossilised shell). The Kanakachalapathi Jatre is a popular fair the temple hosts during the February-March season.
Kanakagiri legislator Shivaraj Tangadagi and Gangavati legislator Iqbal Ansari joined Gandhi's entourage in the respective constituencies. A huge crowd gathered near the Indira Gandhi statue in Gangavathi town, where he addressed a crowd. Police personnel had a tough time controlling the crowd.
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