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Making his presence felt

delhi Updated: May 02, 2009 23:56 IST
Nivedita Khandekar
Nivedita Khandekar
Hindustan Times
Making his presence felt

Chetan Chauhan, the BJP candidate for East Delhi, arrives in an open Gypsy at Vishwas Nagar. As the cavalcade of cars stops, he approaches the crowd with folded hands.

It is Saturday evening. People have come out of shops and residents are lined up on the balconies to take a good look at the leader. Supporters welcome him with garlands and by bursting crackers.

Jeetlal Gupta, a fruit seller, looks on in curiosity. He is a resident of a nearby colony and wants to find out how Chauhan is faring. “We have never seen a leader in the past. Let’s see if he (Chauhan) can become an MP,” he says.

The road show moves through the narrow lanes of busy Vishwas Nagar and Pandav Road. A party worker announces: “Your favourite BJP candidate is amidst you. Till date, you have never seen your elected leader. The BJP promises to bring about the much needed development in the area, neglected for years by the Congress.”

Amrik Khaneja of Raj Medical Store says, “Although this is Chauhan’s first visit to our area, we know he is a very good candidate. The sitting MP has hardly shown his face in this area in the last five years.”

Chauhan begins his day at around 6.30 am and goes around in his constituency meeting morning walkers in parks. The exercise of meeting people through rallies and meetings continues in the evenings.

“I have covered almost 60 per cent of my constituency so far. Time is short. Party workers will take care of the areas that have been left out,” Chauhan says.

On being called an outsider by his opponents, Chauhan says, “It is Sandeep (Dikshit) who is an outsider. He has come here from Bhopal. I have been living in Mayur Vihar for the last 12 years and have an office in Shahdara for over three decades now.”

Asked what would be the first thing he would do after getting elected, he answers, “Providing basic amenities like power, water and proper roads in resettlement colonies.”