A day after BJP MP Kirron Kher filed her nomination papers amidst loud slogans and a crush of people, Chandigarh saw yet another show of strength when Pawan Kumar Bansal, Congress candidate and former MP, filed his nomination papers in the company of over 1,500 people around 1.15 pm, and claimed that his supporters were much larger in number. He also dismissed the Modi wave, saying that he would ride to power in the city on the ‘kaam wave (work wave)’’.
Unlike his flamboyant rival, who chose an open vehicle for the procession, Bansal, 70, sat in his Innova, leaving the open-Gypsy gig to his young supporters. No party workers riding two-wheelers were challaned. They were instructed to wear helmets as Bansal and company took pains to distinguish themselves from the previous day’s road show. Also, there were no central leaders at the show, which was dominated by local supporters.
The road show that started from Congress Bhawan in Sector 35, passed through various markets and made a brief halt at Gandhi Samarak Bhawan in Sector 16, before reaching Deputy Commissioner Mandeep Brar’s office in Sector 17.
Bansal, 70, a resident of Sector 28, was accompanied by his wife Madhu Bansal, and other local Congress councillors and leaders.
After filing the nomination, Bansal, a lawyer, made an eloquent pitch for development. Pooh-poohing any Modi factor or Modi wave in the city, he maintained, “As far as Chandigarh is concerned, there is only one wave, and that is ‘kaam wave (work wave)’, in which the ruling BJP government has failed.”
Alluding to Kher’s rally, he said, “Two CMs along with actor Anupam Kher were present along with Kirron Kher yesterday. But you look at the crowd, which assembled today. They failed to attract enough people because BJP did nothing for Chandigarh in the last five years.”
Interacting with mediapersons, he said, “Yesterday, when a question was posed to Kirron Kher about her development work, she started saying ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. What was that? She and her husband had no answer to the question. Earlier, she blamed Congress for the city’s low ranking in the Swachhta Survekshan despite the fact that we are nowhere in power.”
Bansal was accompanied by councillors Devinder Singh Babal, Gurbax Kaur Rawat, Sheela Devi, Ravinder Kaur Gujral and Satish Kainth, who joined the party recently. Kainth was earlier with the BJP.