Animal lovers of the city are pledging their vote for Rahul Gandhi, after an animal shelter volunteer claimed to have spotted him giving a joyride to his adopted 'Indie' dogs.
The Congress Vice-President was spotted on Race Course on Thursday night taking his dogs for a ride around 10 pm by a volunteer of a known animal shelter.
'Indies' or 'desis' are stray dogs adopted off-the-street and this has won Rahul brownie points from animal activists, who have been campaigning against the breeder-pedigree network and the abandonment of pedigrees when sick or old.
The volunteer, who was with her friends, spotted Rahul at a traffic signal and had a quick chat with him about his dogs and before it ended she and her friends were "smitten".
"I saw Rahul driving with his dogs at a traffic signal on Race Course. We spoke for about a minute before he drove off," the volunteer, who did not want to be named, told PTI.
She couldn't, however, remember what Rahul was wearing or which car he was driving. Or its colour.
"I saw the dogs and started the conversation (with Rahul). It was dark and I don't know which car it was," she said, adding "the dogs were Indies and one of them was in the front trying to hop to the rear."
Within an hour of spotting Rahul with his dogs there was a post on the shelter's official Facebook page. "A perfect end to any day! Was waiting on a redlight (sic) today when a car slowly comes to a halt next to me. In it, 4 excited stray dogs are clearly being taken for a joy ride by their owner. When I look at the driver, he bears a striking resemblance to Rahul Gandhi, but of course it couldn't be... But then again, it is!" posted the shelter quoting their volunteer.
"We chat up about his dogs, how they love car rides and what I do for a living. And as the light turns green, the sweetest dimpled smile bids me goodbye and drives off into the darkness. That man certainly has a charm! I am so smitten...," she wrote.
Soon enough it wasn't just the volunteer, who was smitten by Rahul's dimpled smile, scores of animal activists wrote how cute he was and that their vote was for him!
Shikha Chauhan's reaction was among the first: "My vote done!" and Neha Ahuja joined in with, "That is so sweet! Real men are compassionate n loving towards defenseless beings"; and Garima Batra with, "He does look like a very compassionate man... he is like a caged bird in politics." Not all comments were kind though. Prakhar Chandra wrote, "Apparently the only meaningful thing he's ever done, or will ever do..." Some others doubted if it was a Rahul look-alike on the road.
As the "likes" on the post crossed 400, the shelter moderator had a tough time hushing the critics' comments such as "... Truth be told, if Mr RG loved dogs so much, with all his political clout and a decade in power, the lot of India's dogs would be far better than it is..."; "... If this story is indeed true, then good for the dogs and good for RG. But that isnt indicative of his or his party's prowess at governance..."; and "... RG is a corrupt man at the helm of a corrupt government that has looted the country, and his corruption is the reason why the animal care infrastructure is so neglected..."
Kunaal Satti, another follower of the shelter's fan page, claimed that he had had a "similar experience" having seen Rahul driving around with his pets.