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No Hindutva, only development

delhi Updated: May 01, 2009 00:25 IST
Atul Mathur

The talk was on ownership right to houses in New Seelampur, flats for slum dwellers and overall development in the bylanes of Welcome Colony and New Seelampur on Thursday. The only national issue raised was terrorism and Urdu pamphlets were distributed in areas with Muslim population.

This was BJP’s Northeast Delhi constituency candidate Baikunth Lal Sharma ‘Prem’ (79) holding his sampark rally to reach out to the voters of his constituency. Though known for his Hindu hardliner’s image, he entirely skipped issues like Ayodhya temple and the abolition of Article 370.

Dressed in his usual saffron kurta, a turban and a white pyjama, he reached the venue sharp at 7:30 am at Welcome.

“It is my constituency, my area. I have been to each and every lane and bylane. People have given me so much love here. I am really happy to be back amongst them,” he said.

Prem had contested in 1991 and 1996 from East Delhi parliamentary constituency before resigning abruptly as a Member of Parliament and from the BJP in 1997 to join the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

Though there were no huge crowds waiting to greet him in his open jeep, people came out of their houses and acknowledged him wherever he went during campaigning.

“Premji is never late. He is a disciplined person and always raring to go. He is a great motivational force for all of us,” said Anil Jain, in-charge of the day’s campaign.

Prem began the day’s campaign by reciting a self-composed patriotic poem. Some 30-odd party workers had gathered to greet him. Another group wearing white T-shirts with the BJP’s flag printed on them joined soon after. “This area was totally neglected by the previous MP. Overall development is definitely my top priority,” Prem said.