Rahul pays a surprise visit to Ambedkar shrine | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Rahul pays a surprise visit to Ambedkar shrine

mumbai Updated: Apr 28, 2012 01:19 IST
Nikita Sonavane

On his earlier visit to the city, he took everyone by surprise by boarding a local train. On Friday, Rahul Gandhi paid an unscheduled visit Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar's memorial at Chaityabhoomi, Dadar.

Accompanied by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and state Congress leaders, Gandhi spent about 20 minutes at Chaityabhoomi.

Gandhi's visit assumes significance given that several Dalit factions have been unhappy with the delay in building an Ambedkar memorial at the neighbouring Indu mill complex. Congress workers are hoping that the visit would send the right message to Ambedkar's followers.

The visit also became one of the most memorable days in Sahebrao Patekar's life. Patekar, a book vendor at Chaityabhoomi, gifted Gandhi a copy of 'Buddha and his Dhamma' written by Dr. Ambedkar. "I have great respect for the Gandhi family. There is no way I was going to let their scion leave empty-handed," Patekar said. "When I gave him the book, he asked, 'Kya yeh mere liye hain?' (Is this for me?). He was overwhelmed, and shook hands with me."