The stage was literally set at the narrow lane in Shakarpur market of East Delhi for an election meeting. Chairs were placed in neat rows and Congress banners were all over the place.
After 8 pm, slowly a crowd also started gathering.
Jogendri Devi, in her 50s, walked in with her four-year-old grandson Shaourya. “I have come here to see (chief minister) Sheila Dikshit and her son,” she said.
As Sandeep Dikshit, the candidate for East Delhi seat, walked in with his mother and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, the crowd broke into a round of sloganeering.
Sandeep Dikshit, who addressed the gathering first, talked development. “It is the Congress government that has brought all round development…. There is the Metro and there are flyovers…” he said.
Referring to the positive changes in East Delhi, he said, “Delhi has shown the nation the path to progress,” he said.
Sheila Dikshit was more aggressive.
She also did most of the talking as Sandeep let his experienced mother woo the electorate on his behalf. “Flyovers and broad roads were possible due to funds made available under the JNNURM,” she said.
Keeping in the mind the Muslim population in the area, she even took a dig at the BJP for their stand on the Ayodhya temple issue.
“We do not speak of dividing the country. They made a false promise of building a temple. They did not fulfill it, instead they demolished a mosque.”
The chief minister concluded her speech with a promise. “We will bring in so much of development here that people of New Delhi would envy you,” she said.
Pradeep Jain, a local resident who has a university job, said: “Progress of the state is okay, but what about the common man’s needs?”
Shiv Saran Mourya, who lives in the area, said: “They spoke about flyovers and broad roads… but could not see the congested lanes full of pothole.”