Indian Express

AAP rally draws tepid response as senior leaders give it a miss

Convenor Paresh Patel, however, had a different story to tell. Tweet This
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AAP candidate Sunil Kulkarni kicks off his open auto-rickshaw campaign in Vadodara Monday. (Bhupendra Rana) AAP candidate Sunil Kulkarni kicks off his open auto-rickshaw campaign in Vadodara Monday. (Bhupendra Rana)

AAP’s Vadodara candidate Sunil Kulkarni, who is contesting against BJP’s Narendra Modi and Congress’ Madhusudan Mistry, received an unusually cold response from the city on Monday when he began his election campaign. While only a handful of AAP supporters accompanied Kulkarni, senior AAP leaders were conspicuous by their absence. While leaders say the decision on Kulkarni’s candidature has divided the party, party spokesperson says senior leaders were “busy in simultaneous campaigns in other parts of the city”.

On Monday morning, Kulkarni chose an open auto-rickshaw, festooned with brooms, as he began his campaign from the party office.
AAP veterans, including party convenor Paresh Patel, were missing in action.

Bhushan Bhatt, media convenor of the city unit of the party, said, “We communicated through bulk SMSes. But the Election Commission has capped the number of SMSes that can be sent form a phone. So, despite having over 10,000 members, we were not able to pass on the message to our volunteers to join the road show.” Bhatt denied that the absence of senior leaders was because of differences in the party over Kulkarni’s candidature.

Convenor Paresh Patel, however, had a different story to tell. “As per the constitution of the party, the core committee dissolves during the elections and a different campaign committee is formed. I’m not aware who has been nominated to this committee.”

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