As he went around the lanes of Shakur Basti in the Chandni Chowk constituency on a warm Saturday afternoon, the AAP’s candidate from Amethi Kumar Vishwas, who is on his first leg of campaigning in Delhi, said he was hopeful that the capital will witness a repeat of the Delhi Assembly elections. The AAP had won 28 seats then, just three short of the BJP’s 31.
Asked about the recent sting operation on Babri Masjid and the controversy over the Jama Masjid Shahi Imam extending support to the Congress, Vishwas said, “Both political parties (the Congress and the BJP) want to bring communal issues to the fore ahead of the elections. This is not surprising.”
With around 20 supporters in tow, Vishwas accompanied Chandni Chowk candidate Ashutosh on a roadshow in the constituency. “I decided to come here to help my friends in their campaign,” Vishwas said.
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“The atmosphere in Delhi right now is just like that at the time of Assembly elections last December. I am confident that the Delhi Lok Sabha results will be in favour of the Aam Aadmi Party,” Vishwas said.
Denying reports that Vishwas was miffed over party convener Arvind Kejriwal not paying a visit to Amethi, where Vishwas will take on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and the BJP’s Smriti Irani, AAP spokesperson Deepak Bajpai said, “Once the Delhi elections are over, Arvind will visit Amethi. In fact, he mentioned recently at a public meeting that he would camp in Amethi for 5-6 days.”
While his party might consider him a ‘star campaigner’, the ‘glam’ factor seemed to be lost on residents in Chandni Chowk.
Asked about the Amethi candidate, a vegetable vendor at a market in Saraswati Vihar said, “I don’t know who Kumar Vishwas is. Although the Aam Aadmi Party has been campaigning rigorously, it seems that Modi is going to form the government this time.”
Others, however, seemed more hopeful of the AAP’s chances this election season.
“ I had voted for the AAP in the Delhi Assembly elections, but I haven’t yet decided if I should vote for the AAP or for Modi,” an auto driver said.