Murshidawad Wadi, Aurangabad:
Young Ramesh Rautray is pleased as punch. He wears a Congress scarf around his neck and a big smile as he talks about his five minutes with Rahul Gandhi.
The Congress number 2, on a tour of the drought-hit Aurangabad district in Maharashtra, met Ramesh in Nidhona village today. He called out to the young boy, put his arm around him and asked him about the water situation in the area.
A star-struck Ramesh, 13, told NDTV, "He asked my name. He also asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said I wanted to join the Army and he asked why." Suddenly all roads in the village seemed to lead to his modest home where he sat outside on a charpoy
or bed with his family.
Earlier this month, a 10-year-old hawker in Bhopal made news after he gave a newspaper for free to Mr Gandhi, because the latter had no change. The Madhya Pradesh Congress later felicitated the boy and "adopted" him.
Mr Gandhi's party rules Maharashtra and wherever he stopped, he promised villagers prompt measures to tackle the water and fodder scarcity in the region. His visit came two days after Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan announced that the government would give Rs 10 crore funds in drought relief to the district. Mr Chavan accompanied Mr Gandhi on his tour today.