When BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was filing his nomination papers at Varanasi on Thursday, Anurag Thakur, MP from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh, was wooing his voters at the remote Kalvada village, one of the venues of his 18-poll rallies listed for the day.
Barely 35 km from Hamirpur, this village with its 80-odd families, needs a road. Anurag had to navigate his vehicle through a small a rivulet stretch and then walk to a terrace house, where he addressed a small gathering in which women outnumbered men.
“You need a road as desperately as India needs Narendra Modi as prime minister. See, when Modi becomes prime minister on May 16, I will also be something (a minister) in his cabinet. When I come after Modi is sworn in as PM, I will bring you a gift (of a road). I will go a step further. I want Hamirpur on the railway map,” Thakur declared to villagers, reeling out his wish list for the constituency.
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Monkey menace, price rise, unemployment, problems of ex-servicemen, patient care — all figured in his short speech, which he ended quickly before moving on to the next meeting.
To strike a chord with the young, Anurag also took a few minutes to explain the advantages of a railway line project for Hamirpur.
“Your journey to Delhi by bus costs Rs 450. The train fare will be Rs 116. That’s the advantage,” he said.
The Congress has fielded Rajinder Rana, an independent MLA, who resigned his Assembly seat (Sujanpur) to contest the Lok Sabha polls.