Diners at a city restaurant were pleasantly surprised on Saturday when Congress leader Rahul Gandhi walked in to have a quick bite. After appearing before a court in Patna and getting bail in a defamation case filed by Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Gandhi was on his way back to the airport to catch his return flight.
However, midway, Gandhi, who was flanked by senior Congress leaders like AICC spokesman Shaktisinh Gohil, state party chief Madan Mohan Jha and Rajya Sabha member Akhilesh Prasad Singh, said he was feeling hungry and wanted to have a plate of dosa.
The cavalcade subsequently pulled up close to Maurya Lok market complex and the leaders walked to one of the restaurants famous for serving south Indian delicacies.
Sources said the Congress leader, who stepped down as the party's national president recently, taking moral responsibility for the debacle in Lok Sabha polls, ordered dosa along with coffee which he enjoyed in a leisurely manner before heading towards the airport.
Several people clicked snapshots of the leader having his meal from a distance that the SPG, which looks after Gandhi's security, permitted, the sources said.
Meanwhile, Modi attacked Gandhi for having charged the BJP with hounding out those engaged in dissent, saying on Twitter, "Instead of tendering a much required apology, he is playing the victim card".
Upon emerging from the court, Gandhi had told reporters, "Whoever raises a voice against the Narendra Modi government or the BJP-RSS gets cases slapped against him. My fight for the country's poor, its farmers and workers will nonetheless continue.”
The Bihar Deputy CM had filed the defamation case against the then Congress president in April this year alleging that he was aggrieved by a speech delivered by Gandhi in a Maharashtra district wherein he had made the remark "why is it that all thieves have the surname Modi".
The Deputy CM had alleged that Gandhi's remark, obviously aimed at the Prime Minister besides bank fraud accused Nirav Modi and former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, had made him feel insulted since he shared the same surname.
"Rahul Gandhi breached all decorum when he tried to mislead the people for electoral gains, calling an honest Prime Minister a thief and made fun of lakhs of people who shared the same surname. It was for this misdeed that he had to depose before the court," Modi wrote on Twitter.
The Deputy CM, who had in April appeared before the court to record his statement was, however, not present at the court on Saturday as he was busy with the BJP's country-wide membership drive which was launched here with him, along with party national general secretary in-charge for Bihar and state unit chief and Union minister Nityanand Rai, in attendance.