Delhi Chief Minister and national Convenor of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Arvind Kejriwal on Friday got a lukewarm response in Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s citadel Patiala during his road show on the last day of the canvassing.
It was in total contrast with his road show ahead of 2017 Assembly election, when he had stomped the Amarinder pocket borough with a sea of people getting out of their houses and shops to have a glimpse of Kejriwal, shaking hands with him, waving at him, and showering flower petals on him.
On Friday, it was business as usual for the shopkeepers in Patiala, when he passed through Fountain Chowk, Lower Mall, Modi College Chowk, Chandni Chowk, Behera Road, Anardana Chowk, Dharampura Bazar, Sheranwala Gate and finally crossed the Mall Road to reach Rajpura. Not many came out and stayed put inside, disinterested in what was happening outside.
Kejriwal was perched atop a truck along with AAP candidate from Patiala Neena Mittal, alongwith other supporters, waving to people. But most of the people remained indifferent to his presence.
The shopkeepers were seen continuing with their work with only a few coming out to greet him on the roadsides. This was the reason probably that his convoy passed through Patiala at a high speed.
He did not stop to address people anywhere in the city market except near landmark Kali Devi temple where he gave a call to people to oust “Maharajas” and “Maharanis” from politics and send them back to their “palaces.”
As his convoy reached Baradari crossing, a few taxi drivers were seen seated at the taxi stand. One of the drivers, Raj Kumar on seeing the vehicles approaching, announced “Kejriwal Sir aa rahein hain.” But nobody paid any heed to him. Raj Kumar told the Indian Express, “Last time we all voted for him. But now we will vote for Dr Dharamvira Gandhi. Usne kamm bahut kiye han (He has worked a lot in the constituency)”.
A few kilometers away, Delhi CM’s convoy saw some traction outside Punjabi University campus, where a few students had come to hear him.
While Patiala treated him with indifference, Rajpura was responsive with some turning up to listen to him in city market. In his address, he talked about the Delhi model of governance. He told people that Delhi government was giving power for Re 1 per unit. He asked the gathering as to how much they get it for in Punjab. One of them answered, “Rs 10.”
“Punjab produces its own power. We do not even produce. We have to buy. Even then it is much more cheaper,” he replied.
He tried to strike a chord when he said, “Pehla CM kaam pe vote maang raha hai. Mai kisi jaat paat ya dharam ke naam pe vote nahi maang raha. Mai keh raha hu mai aap ke bachon ko padahunga. Yeh Captain-Badal sab Mile huye hain. Inhone Desh ko loot liya. Captain ke ghar mein ja ke baat kar sakte ho? Dosto badal do rajneeti iss baar. Maharani or maharaja ko apne mehlon nein vapis bhej do”.
While he hit out at Captain and Badals, he did not mention Gandhi, the sitting MP from Patiala, who had won on AAP ticket in 2014 but later rebelled.
On lukewarm response he told the Indian Express that he had chosen an early hour to take out a roadshow in Patiala. The markets were not open yet. “I saw a few shopkeepers opening the shutters of their shops. We were early.”
He asked, “Did you see my campaign in last three days in Sangrur, Barnala, Moga and Faridkot? Last night I was in Moga and I got such a tremendous response that I took another round of the city.”
In Ludhiana, Sisodia sells Delhi model
Ludhiana: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) campaign in Ludhiana ended with a roadshow where Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia campaigned for party candidate Tejpal Singh Gill Friday. As it started raining during the roadshow, Sisodia preferred moving inside a car whereas Gill and Jagraon MLA Sarvjit Kaur Manuke continued the roadshow in an open vehicle.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also visited Ludhiana Friday but only held a meeting with Gill over breakfast.
Sisodia said that Ludhiana was lucky to get a highly educated candidate like Gill. He also said that successive governments failed to solve problems of Ludhiana city. He added that people of Ludhiana must vote for AAP to bring health and education reforms in Punjab like Delhi.