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In Mumbai, Rahul does as Mumbaiites do

Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi surprised commuters at the busy Andheri station at 12.55 pm when he stood in queue to buy a ticket. Gandhi had decided to travel from Andheri to Ghatkopar via Dadar by train.

mumbai Updated: Feb 06, 2010 00:38 IST
HT Correspondent

The city’s suburban rail network served a high-profile commuter on Friday.

Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi surprised commuters at the busy Andheri station at 12.55 pm when he stood in queue to buy a ticket. Gandhi had decided to travel from Andheri to Ghatkopar via Dadar by train.

“I was amazed to see a politician visiting a railway station and walking towards the ticket counter,” said a juice vendor at the station.

Gandhi, surrounded by security personnel, boarded a train to Dadar. At Dadar station, he bought a ticket at a vending machine. Walking along the bridge, Gandhi surprised a news photographer chasing him. “My camera flash fell down. Rahul stopped, picked up the batteries and patted me on my back,” said the photographer.

Gandhi then boarded a first class compartment on the 1.32 pm Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus-Kalyan fast train. Commuter Yogesh Chauhan wanted to greet Gandhi on the train but the Special Protection Group guards stopped him. “However, Rahul
came forward and shook hands with me. It was so flattering,” said Chauhan.

At Ghatkopar station, an unidentified girl wanted to shake hands with him. Her male companion called out Gandhi’s name.

The Congress leader shook hands with the excited girl and walked towards his vehicle.

Unaware of Gandhi’s sudden change in plans, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and other senior leaders had to wait for two hours for him at Ramabai Nagar, Ghatkopar.