New Delhi: Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi Thursday paid a surprise visit to a workshop of women sanitary staff where he faced questions like why was he seen mostly during elections?
Rahul, whose name was not among the participants at the day-long `National Workshop on Awareness of Rights and Upliftment of Women Safai Karamchari`, was also told by the gathering that he will not get `Dalit` votes unless he works for them. To which Congress leader said he did not care for votes but was interested in their welfare.
He also rejected the charge that he paid visits only during elections and assured the workers that the UPA government was committed to abolishing the "inhuman" practice of manual scavenging.
"It was an impromptu interaction and some women did ask questions which had nothing to do with the workshop. But they were very happy to talk to him and it was all very pleasant," an official present there said.
The woman sanitary staff welcomed his assurance for abolishing manual scavenging and taking up their other concerns, which he said had brought him there to listen to them.
"We are very sensitive to your problems and need and will do our utmost to help you," he said.
When quizzed about the presence of manual scavenging in different parts of the country, he said such practice could not be allowed in 21st century.
Officials said they had little inkling of Gandhi`s visit to the workshop and learnt about it in the afternoon when SPG officials arrived to put in place required security arrangements.
The one-day workshop was inaugurated by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Kumari Selja in the morning.