- The Big Picture: What’s AAP
- A year later, the tweak: Desh to Dilli
- Bus from Burari laden with volunteers and hope
- Rare day out for AAP families
- Riot of support for AAP in communal hot spots
- Hunt on for CM house, will not accept Z-plus security
- No word from high command, Delhi Congress in a paralysis
- Latest News
- Second time at Ramlila Maidan: Hope overrides their doubts
- Kejriwal has no portfolio, will keep an eye on others
- In sea of white caps, BJP troika plans to be ‘forceful opposition’
- MP, MLA see Punjab as the next AAP stop
- A year later, the tweak: Desh to Dilli
- Arvind Kejriwal repeats his advice to sting the corrupt, asks police to act against ‘goondagardi’
- Proud that one of our volunteers has become Delhi CM: Anna Hazare
- Arvind Kejriwal not to keep any portfolio
- Now an Aam Aadmi Party Cola by beverage-maker inspired by Arvind Kejriwal’s party
- New chief minister Arvind Kejriwal holds meetings at Delhi Secretariat
- Cong’s Ajay Maken blames Sheila Dikshit for Delhi polls debacle
- Left, right, AAP
Sushma Swaraj hits the road, without a mention of Narendra Modi
If you were a BJP worker in Sushma Swaraj’s constituency, you’d probably wonder if the party really believed in either the “Narendra Modi wave” or his ambitious “Mission 272+”.
In campaign speeches and meetings with party workers, the Leader of Opposition and MP from Vidisha does not mention her party’s prime ministerial candidate. Instead, she talks of “Mission 29”, a reference to the number of Lok Sabha constituencies in Madhya Pradesh, where she shifted her political base a few years ago, and to the popularity of its chief minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
“I am not here to give a political speech. You need two things to win an election: an atmosphere favourable for the party, and booth-level structure,” she told party workers in separate conventions in Gyaraspur and Ganj-Basoda in Vidisha on Tuesday, stressing how a favourable atmosphere had helped the BJP win a third straight election in the state recently.
She also talks about increasing her margin of victory from the 3.89 lakh of 2009 to over 4 lakh this time, because of the huge psychological boost it would bring. Vidisha must hold the flag and lead the procession, she says.
Swaraj’s message is similar to the one she gave when she began meeting party workers immediately after the polls were announced. She was hoping to address by Wednesday the last of her booth-level workers’ gatherings in the eight assembly segments that make up the Lok Sabha constituency, reaching the target of getting in touch with 50,000 workers.
If Swaraj does not name Modi, she does not name her Congress rival, former chief minister Digvijaya Singh’s younger brother Laxman Singh, either. In the hoardings that provide the backdrop to her gatherings, Chouhan gets the same prominence as her. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Rajnath Singh, Modi and state BJP chief Narendra Tomar get equal space, which is less than what is occupied by Chouhan and her.
On the hoardings, the only message is “Sansad me sashakat aawaz, Sushma Swaraj”; the only slogan, “Desh ka neta kaisa ho, Sushma Swaraj jaisa ho”.
Swaraj shares a seven-step manual with workers, coining a new expression, “Page prabhari” (worker in charge of one page of the voters’ list). The page prabhari will devote two to three hours on seven separate days over the next month (Vidisha votes on April 24) during which he or she will visit every assigned voter, plant party flags at their homes (“Don’t forget to take written permission,” she cautions) and update the voters’ list. On the day of voting, the page prabhari will take the voter to the polling booth.
Poll fever is yet to catch on strongly in this constituency spread over four districts. A couple of posters in Vidisha town announce “Ab ki bar Modi sarkar”, but elsewhere in the constituency, posters and hoardings from the recent assembly elections are yet to be replaced.
While Swaraj skips Modi, workers say they won’t. “We will use all three names — Modi, Swaraj and Shivraj. No restrictions apply to us,” Mahesh Vishwakarma, a worker from Pachma village, said after …continued »