His ‘clean’ image and the work done by him during his tenure as sports minister and minister of housing and urban poverty alleviation (HUPA) will be the highlights of Ajay Maken’s campaign in the face of allegations of corruption made by the AAP against the Congress.
Though his election campaign is yet to kick-start formally, radio jingles and video clips of various sportspersons — ace athlete P T Usha, boxers Mary Kom and Vijender Kumar and footballer Baichung Bhutia — vouching for Maken have already begun going viral.
“The elections are less than a month away. Everyone had expected that Delhi would go to polls in May, as was the case in 2009. There is hardly any time left for campaigning,’’ a Congress source said.
The radio jingles narrate the work Maken did as the sports minister in 2011. A case in point is the jingle in which Mary Kom is featured. “…Maken took some landmark initiatives to make sports administration more responsible and transparent. He helped get me modern training facilities and international coaching, which became instrumental in my victory at the London Olympics.
Thank you Ajay Maken. I am with you,’’ the ace boxer can be hear saying.
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Renowned athlete P T Usha’s radio ad speaks of how Maken helped helped her academy and his numerous visits there, which is described as an “encouragement to our budding athletes’’.
“Maken will approach his voters based on the work done him so far and his non-corrupt image,’’ a source said.
As HUPA minister, Maken’s focus had been the Street Vendors’ Bill, Real Estate Regulatory Authority Bill, 2013, which was introduced in the Rajya Sabha, and the overhaul of the Rajiv Awaz Yojna.
“Apartment buyers and owners’ associations and street vendors are also going to be enlisted for campaigning ,’’ the source said.
With government employees forming almost 35 per cent of the electorate in New Delhi parliamentary constituency, his campaign is also likely to highlight the initiative taken on their behalf.
“The fact that Maken was the first one to write to the PM to set up the Seventh Pay Commission will also be highlighted,’’ the source said.
Maken said, “I have not started my campaign yet, it will start once I file nomination. However, when a person in public life is acknowledged for the work he does, it is heartening.”
Though candidate selection for the New Delhi Constituency was to be done through primaries, Maken’s was the only name which came up in the nomination process. Maken, a close aide of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, had himself requested that New Delhi seat be included in primaries as this would help grassroot workers to select their own candidates.