Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was heckled and questioned by voters as he went from booth to booth in his family pocketborough of Amethi on Wednesday. Both party workers and residents said this was the first time that Rahul was visiting the booths on polling day.
At Chilauli Singhpur booth, Ambika Saran Singh, 63, told him, “Chalo dus saal baad dekhne ko to mila (we got to see you after 10 years).” When Rahul said, “Main yahan aya to hun (I have come here),” Singh replied, “Aaj to aap yahan apne swarth ke liye aye hain (you have come here today for your own benefit).”
After Rahul left, Singh said, “I am a farmer and have been a Congress workers for the last 30 years… but the Congress is good at ignoring its old workers.”
At Phoola Gaon booth, Parvesh Shukla, a youth, shouted at Rahul, “Bhaiya… sadak pe jhatka laga ki nahi (did you feel the potholes on the road).” Rahul told the youth to go and join the BJP. Some other youths waiting outside then shouted, “Har Har Modi”, forcing Rahul to leave the booth.
Nar Singh Bahadur Singh, a first time voter, said, “I voted for the Congress, but only because my family told me to.”
In the Muslim-dominated areas, however, voters assured Rahul of their support. “Bhaiya aap humari taraf se nishchint rahiya. Hum sab apke saath hain (be assured that all of us are with you),” said Abdul Madeen at a polling booth in Rustemau, a Muslim-dominated village.
Meanwhile, Rahul, who was accompanied by his aide Kanishka Singh and other staff, objected to a drawing of a lotus on the blackboard at Phoola Gaon booth.
Speaking to mediapersons later, Rahul said, “They do not have anger only for my family but for the entire nation.” Asked about the heckling, he said, “They are people of another party.”