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Brothers in arms out to woo voters

Commercial activities in the busy Tughlaqabad Extension market came to a standstill for almost an hour when Congress leader Sajjan Kumar addressed a gathering for his younger brother Ramesh Kumar, the Congress candidate from South Delhi.

delhi Updated: May 05, 2009 02:04 IST
Atul Mathur

Commercial activities in the busy Tughlaqabad Extension market came to a standstill for almost an hour when Congress leader Sajjan Kumar addressed a gathering for his younger brother Ramesh Kumar, the Congress candidate from South Delhi.

Shops were open but customers were missing. Everyone was gathered at a small open space outside the market to hear what bhai sahab (Sajjan Kumar) had to say.

At 53, Ramesh Kumar has become the saviour of his brother’s political legacy. Sajjan Kumar was the official candidate for South Delhi till his candidature was revoked for his alleged role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Younger brother Ramesh was asked to fill in and Sajjan Kumar is now playing the role of the mentor to the hilt.

On Monday evening, he spoke for his brother. Ramesh Kumar too highlighted the works that Sajjan Kumar carried out in the area in the past few years. And most people agreed.

“If it were not for bhai sahab, we would still be struggling to get our colony regularised. It was because of his efforts that people are earning their bread and butter through small shops here. The municipality had almost demolished these shops and houses in the early 1980s,” said Veer Singh, a general merchant in Tughlaqabad Extension market.

Tughlaqabad was earlier a part of Outer Delhi parliamentary constituency, which elected Sajjan Kumar to Lok Sabha thrice. Almost 92 per cent of South Delhi voters are from Outer Delhi, Sajjan Kumar’s stronghold.

“I abide by the party’s decision to not contest these election and present my younger brother to you and make you a humble request to vote for him,” Sajjan Kumar said in the public meeting.

In almost three weeks of active electioneering, Ramesh Kumar also knows that it is his charismatic brother who is going to get him votes.

“As an MP, my brother has done good work for the rural belt in Delhi and I promise to take that legacy forward. I am sure people will reward the Congress with a huge win,” he said.