A photo of BJP’s East Delhi candidate Gautam Gambhir sitting inside a vehicle and a man looking peculiarly similar standing atop the same car during a road show prompted a barb from Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who said the cricketer-turned-politician was using a doppelganger. Read in Malayalam
The BJP denied that Gambhir had used a “lookalike”, and said that he had sat down because he was feeling unwell. Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor told The Indian Express that the man who stood atop the vehicle afterwards was Gaurav Arora, a close friend of Gambhir and a BJP worker. “He (Arora) and Gautam ji have been friends since their school days, for around 25 years… his father Manohar Arora is an active party worker in Karol Bagh,” he said.
The road show started around 11:30 am from Mayur Vihar Phase-III paper market, with Gambhir leading the procession atop the vehicle wearing a white kurta and cap. By 11:45 am, as the procession reached Trilokpuri, Arora had taken his place, also wearing a white kurta and cap, with the addition of a waistcoat. Crowds of workers thronged around the vehicle and tried to garland him, and he reached out and took garlands from some of them, occasionally waving and folding his hands.
As a photo showing both men in the same frame emerged online, Sisodia tweeted: “This is the mahamilawat of Congress and BJP. Gautam Gambhir is sitting below in an AC car. He has a problem with the heat. A lookalike is standing in his place wearing a cap. Confusing the ‘duplicate’ for Gautam Gambhir, workers are garlanding him. And the one who is a duplicate is a Congress politician.”
The AAP, in a statement, added: “It is disturbing to see people of East Delhi coming out in the heat to meet and garland their leader. On the contrary, he is sitting cozy in an air-conditioned vehicle with window panes up.”
However, BJP’s East Delhi Lok Sabha in-charge Rajiv Babbar said, “For 10-15 minutes during the campaign, Gambhir felt a little giddy due to the heat and sat in the front seat of the campaign vehicle. Meanwhile, party workers atop the vehicle kept waving at people. Waving of hands by workers atop campaign vehicles is a normal practice.”
On whether public was misled during the road show, Kapoor said, “There is no question of misleading. Gautam ji was clearly sitting in the car. If someone was working a mask, there might have been some question of misleading. Are we fools to try something like that?”
Late Friday night, Gambhir tweeted: “Faced with a certain defeat, @AAP finds a fixation everyday, this time they found my clone !!”