Congress leader Rahul Gandhi personally served lunch to a vegetable vendor Rameshwar, who had gained prominence as a symbol of the challenges posed by increasing food prices.
In a full video of the interaction between the two released by the Congress, Rahul Gandhi is seen asking Rameshwar to not call him 'sir'. "Why are you calling me sir. My name is Rahul. Call me Rahul. I am no sir," Rahul Gandhi said.
Not long ago, Rameshwar experienced a visible emotional moment on camera while discussing the difficulties he faced as a result of inflation, specifically in relation to the exorbitant costs of tomatoes. The incident was captured in a viral video, drawing attention to how the surging food prices are negatively affecting a significant portion of the population.
"I reached a point where I no longer wished to continue living in this society," expressed Rameshwar, with Gandhi attentively listening, while his daughter was seated beside him.
"Please refrain from saying that again. Expressing your feelings sincerely is not a sign of weakness; it's a display of honesty. Don't concern yourself with others' opinions. Stay true to the truth," Mr. Gandhi responded, showcasing a video clip from their encounter on the previous Monday.
Watch the entire video here:
In the video, Rameshwar told Rahul Gandhi that he hails from Uttar Pradesh and arrived in Delhi with the aspiration of improving his life, only to find that his situation had deteriorated.
"What work you have done in the last 10 years?" Gandhi asked Rameshwar.
"There is no manual labour that I did not do. Now I don't have that much energy left in me...but I don't see any result of my hard work because the government does not listen to anyone. The poor are being destroyed and the rich are getting richer," Rameshwar replied.
"Would you like something to eat?" Rahul Gandhi asked Rameshwar before personally serving him and his family a meal.
BJP attacks Gandhi for "exploiting poor"
Following Rahul Gandhi's interaction with the vendor, the BJP accused him of exploiting the individual for his own political gain. Amit Malviya from the BJP remarked, "...Rameshwar ji claims he isn't familiar with social media, yet he discusses meeting Rahul Gandhi in person. Was he prompted to say this? Who, apart from the Congress party operatives, would want to meet Rahul Gandhi in India today?"
"You choose to engage and meet an underprivileged individual who arrives at your doorstep with a microphone only when it suits your agenda to exploit his financial difficulties," Malviya added. He also shared an alternate interview with Rameshwar where he mentioned receiving free cylinders under PM Modi's Ujjwala scheme.