"I am Rahul, I am Congress president". Welcome To the first episode of "Apni Baat Rahul Ke Saath" - the Congress president's answer to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Mann Ki Baat", though more on the lines of "dinner with Rahul".
Rahul Gandhi is in a Delhi restaurant flanked by students, dressed casually in black, in the clip posted by the Congress on social media. After introducing himself, the 48-year-old says: "I thought I will have a chat with some of the young people and get a sense of what they are thinking."
In quick cuts, Rahul Gandhi is seen listening intently as the young men and women raise questions on topics ranging from 10 per cent quota to oppression of Dalits to policies for trans-men.
I met a group of really interesting students from all over India, for dinner a few days ago. I learnt a lot from the wonderful exchange of ideas & perspectives. Here's a short video with the highlights of our interaction.#ApniBaatRahulKeSaathpic.twitter.com/H9pW3t1ur1- Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) February 5, 2019
He says: "We are building our manifesto. We are having an open conversation about our manifesto...you will see that I'll start to push some of these things."
The Congress too posted the sneak peek saying it was "taking a step to break the wall between #people and #power". The party said students from across discussed "issues like gender identity, lack of disabled-friendly facilities and the propagation of violence."
The clip has been viewed thousands of times since it was posted on Tuesday afternoon. Congress leaders say the students were told that a leader of the party would talk to them, but they were stunned when it turned out to be Rahul Gandhi.
The format has been tweaked since Rahul Gandhi held similar interactions before launching the Congress's manifesto before the 2014 national election.
The Congress president has routinely fired digs at PM Modi's "Mann Ki Baat" radio show, calling it a one-sided conversation in which the Prime Minister refuses to listen to what the masses want.