Sindhanur: Realising that too much praise for Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah may turn counterproductive in the assembly polls in view of the factionalism in the state Congress, AICC president Rahul Gandhi tried to send a message to party workers on Sunday that along with Mr Siddaramaiah, leaders like campaign committee chairman D.K. Shivakumar, PCC president Dr G. Parameshwar and Congress leader in the Lok Sabha leader Mallikarjun Kharge were toiling hard for the party.
On Day 2 of his campaign in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region, Rahul addressed rallies in Kushtagi and Sindhanur, roadside meetings besides a farmers' interaction and a dialogue with youth.
On the first day of his tour, he had heaped rich praise on Mr Siddaramaiah wherever he spoke.
Realising that this strategy might send a wrong signal in Hyderabad-Karnataka, the backyard of Congress veteran Mr Kharge, he changed his narrative during the public rallies.
He also visited the 500-year old Kanakachala Lakshmi Narasimha temple near Kushtagi.The Congress president’s visit threw traffic out of gear on the Hosapete-Kalaburagi highway.
At two places, people waved black flags while near Sindhanur, SPG personnel had to chase away eight-to-ten protesters who came in the middle of the road and waived black flags.
During one interaction, a woman requested him to ban liquor which causes havoc in the economy of the lower middle class in Hyderabad and Bombay-Karnataka regions.
Mr Siddaramaiah declined saying it was not a good idea considering the revenue the state earns from liquor. However, Mr Gandhi intervened and sought a discussion on the issue. “Banning liquor is an issue which we have to debate in depth. I have seen in other places that the ban on liquor has encouraged the entry of banned narcotic substances. So, we have to think about it,” he said.