Residents of a hostel for Dalit students in Madurai had a surprise high profile visitor on Wednesday night when Rahul Gandhi called on them to see their living condition.
The Congress General Secretary also heard the complaints of the students and promised to look into all the issues.
"Soon after he came, he visited all the rooms and saw 20 to 30 students staying in each room. He also saw the kitchen and spoke to all of us," said one of the students.
"There are 20 rooms and there are only two toilets. We told him it gets very difficult. We told him 20 people stay in each room. He said he will do something about it," said another.
Rahul is in Tamil Nadu for a two-day visit as the state starts prepping for elections - it votes early next year.
He met with Youth Congress workers in Vanagram, about 45 minutes from Chennai, and urged the gathering to help build the party from scratch and from "grass-root level" in the state. He also suggested, "In some years, we will have a Chief Minister from this gathering."
In a candid talk, Rahul however told state party colleagues that it would take time for Congress to return to power in Tamil Nadu. "We are not in power for more than 40 years. Forget what happened in the past. Eventually we will come to power but it will take time. Before that we should strengthen the party at the ward and panchayat levels," he said.
Gandhi made it plain that there was no "short cut to form the Kamaraj regime (Congress rule) in Tamil Nadu".