The aam aadmi took over the rally ground in Sector 25 on Sunday, wearing the trademark caps and carrying the Tricolour. The numbers that gathered may not be the envy of other political parties, but what could set the alarm bells ringing for them was the fact that people from all strata of society attended the first such rally of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and latched on to every word that its leaders said, the general sentiment being the need for change.
The rally was addressed by AAP senior leader Yogendra Yadav apart from some other leaders. From sanitation workers to educationists, advocates, retired defence personnel and several others attended the rally. The leaders sat among the people rather than on a stage. Instead of the usual scenes of people leaving rallies midway while leaders address them, here the audience stayed till the very end.
A small stage was set up at the rally ground from where the speakers addressed the people. Brooms, the symbol of the party, adorned the stage. Apart from the senior citizens who sat on chairs, all others sat on the ground, where they were joined by Yadav after he came to the venue. There was some chaos because of people trying to meet him, but it was soon under control as Yadav requested everyone to maintain discipline and let the proceedings go on.
Yadav admitted that the huge turnout surprised him since the people of Chandigarh are not known to attend rallies like this. He said people never came for rallies here, and certainly did not sit on the ground as could be seen.
Mukesh, a sweeper working at PGI, had come to attend the rally from Sector 25. He said, “We have seen the BJP and the Congress. Both have let us down. AAP has given us hope. Arvind Kejriwal does not have a magic wand, but given some time, change would be
Similar views were echoed by Vikas Ghosh, a resident of Sector 44, who also expressed his anger at the other political parties. Stressing on the need for change, he said earlier people had no option, but with the AAP, there is an alternative available.
A number of professors from Panjab University were present at the rally. Prof Manjit Singh from the Department of Sociology, being a strong advocate of the AAP, has been campaigning for the party. He said that AAP has raised hope among the people, who are now looking towards the party to get rid of their problems.
Though Yadav did not touch local issues during his address, the other leaders talked about the rail bribery scam that involved the nephew of local MP Pawan Kumar Bansal.