In prestige battle, Kiran Bedi enters Kejriwal’s lair

  • Abhinav Rajput, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 03, 2015 17:32 IST

Daring Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal in his home turf, the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi held a roadshow in the New Delhi constituency, where the party’s candidate Nupur Sharma is pitted against the AAP heavyweight.

Earlier, there were reports that the top BJP leadership was reluctant to allow a roadshow in the area unless sure of a huge turnout.

Kiran Bedi and party leader Vijay Goel campaigned for Nupur Sharma.

About 2,000 people, mostly youths from different colleges of Delhi University, participated in the roadshow of the former IPS of ficer and Sharma, a former president of the Delhi University Student Union.

The roadshow, which had become a prestige issue for the BJP as Arvind Kejriwal had held a public meeting in the Krishna Nagar constituency from where Bedi is contesting and had drawn a huge turnout, started from BD Marg amid the sound of drums. Hundreds of topi-clad sloganeering supporters, about 20 autos playing BJP’s campaign song and nearly 10 cars followed Bedi’s gypsy.

About half-an-hour after the roadshow started, Sharma joined Bedi at PT Pant Marg following which the crowds swelled substantially. The campaign that started with around 600 people soon saw about 2,000 people joining it.

Seeing the support, Bedi and Sharma climbed on the roof of the gypsy to wave to the crowd. Several people could be seen rushing to click Kiran Bedi’s photo even as she kept flashing the victory sign.

But since the New Delhi constituency is mostly an affluent area and with the roadshow mostly passing through market areas, not many curious onlookers were thronging the roads in residential areas unlike other rallies.

But as the cavalcade entered Connaught Place, shopkeepers came out to catch a glimpse of their leaders. People could be heard comparing Bedi’s roadshow with that of Kejriwal ahead of filing his nomination in which huge number of people had participated.

“The numbers are good but not as much as Kejriwal had gathered during his roadshow on the day before he filed his nomination,” said Sameer Saini, who was standing outside a shop in Connaught Place area. “Politicians should, however, not judge their prowess with the number of supporters they are able to gather for a rally or roadshow,” he added.

A ‘khaki’ connect was established when some policemen, deployed to maintain law-and-order in the area, were seen flashing victory sign to the former IPS officer.

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