Arvind Kejriwal’s Punjab relatives optimistic yet low-profilehttps://indianexpress.com/elections/punjab-assembly-elections-2017/arvind-kejriwals-punjab-relatives-optimistic-yet-low-profile-4499884/

Arvind Kejriwal’s Punjab relatives optimistic yet low-profile

Before Kejriwal dropped in here last year during a visit to Punjab, no one knew the Bindals were related to him. Bindal’s late wife was Kejriwal’s paternal aunt.

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Duli Chand and Himanshu. Gurmeet Singh

Duli Chand Bindal is better known as Ayurveda vaidyacharya in this town, and though he is Arvind Kejriwal’s only known family link in Punjab, there is little to suggest that anywhere near the double-storey house. Before Kejriwal dropped in here last year during a visit to Punjab, no one knew the Bindals were related to him. Bindal’s late wife was Kejriwal’s paternal aunt.

Bindal, 72, and his family still keep a low profile. When Kejriwal visited last February, several from the extended family, including from Ganganagar district in Rajasthan, had gathered to greet him.

There is no such gathering now. Bindal says he too old to go out campaigning for his wife’s nephew; his son Mohinder Kumar is unwell. Only the grandson, Himanshu, 19, has been out with local AAP candidate Atul Nagpal, but has to focus on classes as well.

“I went to a few villages with Nagpal uncle and I have seen people are looking for badlav ki rajniti,” said the college student, also doing an animation course online. “AAP is strong across Abohar and even in Punjab, I am sure there will be a clean sweep.”

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Himanshu and his grandfather are clear who they will vote for. “We don’t believe in showing our support to the whole world. The family used to be Congress supporters but now, when my nephew’s party is contesting from Punjab, why will I choose anyone else,” he says, while attending to patients.

He is more conservative than his nephew about AAP’s prospects. “If you ask me in Abohar town the Congress has an upper hand while my rural patients are talking of change…. Projections are of over 70 seats which means AAP will create history.” He laces that with some caution: “No doubt we want AAP to come to power, but we will welcome whatever verdict comes on March 11.”

Abohar has been a Congress stronghold.