Satirist Jaspal Bhatti's widow Savita Bhatti's first day of campaigning, a day after being announced as the candidate for Lok Sabha elections from Chandigarh, was not a crowd-puller. There were quite a few Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers flanking brooms.
The campaign also did not have the flavour and the peculiar style of Jaspal Bhatti, who used to take on the political parties at the Plaza in Sector 17, where Savita Bhatti gave her maiden political speech as the AAP's MP candidate.
The number of mediapersons and workers was almost the same at the venue. The party was not able to mobilise the supporters and workers for the campaigning.It was a nostalgic moment for Bhatti as she addressed the residents.
"You have been voting for leaders of other parties for all these years, give me and my party a chance and I will bring about a change. I am not a politician, but a simple common person and will remain the same while working for the cause of people," said Savita.
Savita stood literally with tears in her eyes while addressing the party workers from the platform where she and her husband had been mocking at the corrupt system be it politics or government offices for years.
Donning AAP caps, flanking brooms among slogans "Paise pe na daru pe, vote karo jhadu pe (neither money nor liquor, vote for broom)" and "pehle lade the goron se....ab ladenge choron se (first we fought with the British people, now we will fight with the thieves)", the party workers though quite less in number, welcomed Savita's candidature as MP.
Commenting on the selection of Savita Bhatti from Chandigarh, AAP's central observer Rajeev Godara said, "The party had sought applications from aspirants and at the same time search committees were formed to identify people who could fight for the cause of people. Savita Bhatti came forth as a common person who has been taking up important issues of society through her satires, so her name was selected."
Clearing the air on protests within the party over Savita's candidature, Godara said there was no protest in the party and she was welcomed in the party fold. Savita said, "There are no protests but simple difference of opinion."
Targeting the voters living in colonies and slums, Godara said the party's aim would be to get licence for labourers and vendors so that they could continue working. He also highlighted that the rehabilitation of the colony dwellers, who were uprooted, would be one of the important agendas from the city.
Vendors complain about MC
As the AAP candidate came to address people in Sector 17, the vendors putting up stalls just opposite the fountain in the Plaza gathered to complain about the municipal corporation authorities. The vendors highlighted that they were not allowed to display their stuff for the past month after a vendor had entered into an altercation with the Gurgaon municipal commissioner.
The commissioner had stepped on the stuff of a vendor in Sector 17, following which argument broke out between the two. Since the incident, the vendors have not been allowed to display their stuff. The vendors highlighted that they have been going from one authority to another, but all in vain.
With inputs from Monica Sharma
'Will work on weeding out corruption from system'
Satirist Jaspal Bhatti's widow Savita Bhatti, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)'s candidate for the Chandigarh seat, says she has entered into the political arena to take further her late husband's legacy. She aims to bring about a change in the system and not indulge in mudslinging campaign. With moist eyes, Savita claims she has an emotional connect with the city and will be able to relate with the problems of residents.
Q: What made you enter politics, even though you and your husband were known to take on politicians through satires?
Savita: I have decided to contest the elections just to take further the legacy my husband Jaspal Bhatti left behind. My effort is aimed at weeding out corruption to some extent from the system, the issue we have been harping on for more than three decades now. We never termed the entire fraternity of politicians corrupt, but just highlighted the negative characters in any field be it doctors, educationists or politicians.
Why did you choose Aam Aadmi Party only?
In fact, the ideology of our family and the AAP has been of a similar tone and tanner. When the initial crusade by social activist Anna Hazare was started in Delhi, party chief Arvind Kejriwal had that time called up my husband that he must come and join the crusade as he had been the first one to talk about corruption so openly. I am thankful to the AAP for giving me a chance to take ahead my fight against corruption.
How will you be a different politician than others staking their claim on the MP seat? What will be the focus of your campaigning?
I am not making any false promises as of now. I will go to the city residents and ask them about the problems they are facing and what solutions they think can be appropriate to end the issues. I will not get into any mudslinging against any party leader or party. I will harp on what our party can do and what change it can bring, than highlighting the weakness of other candidates.
What will be your priority areas as an MP from the city?
Having lived in Chandigarh for decades, I am emotionally attached to it. My priority areas will be to provide basic amenities such as proper roads and educational facilities, besides safe and secure environment to women.
What as a city resident concerns you the most?
Decreasing patience on roads across the city by motorists is an issue of deep concern. You never know when you will be trampled by a speeding vehicle and killed. Traffic situation in city needs to be given a serious thought and the administration needs to quickly work without wasting time to ensure smooth flow of traffic.
Being a woman candidate how easy or difficult will be the political journey?
It does not matter being a woman or man, as an MP one has to take up the issues of all kind of people. It is not that as an artist we do not face politics. In fact, in politics you know who are your foes and friends as the competitors attack you directly. Competition is there in all fields and one has to continue doing his or her work in the right direction with the right spirit.