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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

In BJP’s bastion, AAP candidate enthralls crowds

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 27, 2014
First Published: 01:39 IST(27/3/2014) | Last Updated: 01:46 IST(27/3/2014)

In a bylane deep inside Vijay Vihar of Uttam Nagar, chairs are neatly placed on one side of the road. Several people with the trademark Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) caps are roaming around, a few on mobile phones, a few chatting with each other, but all eagerly waiting for Jarnail Singh, the AAP’s West Delhi candidate for the Lok Sabha polls 2014.

The locality is considered a BJP stronghold but “we deliberately chose this location,” said Naresh Agrawal, who led the AAP’s local volunteer team for organising the nukkad meeting.

Mahavir Prasad Gola, a retired employee of a multinational company, curiously looks at the preparations and holding a steel can of milk, slowly walks away. Asked why he is not interested in the meeting, Gola, who called himself an ardent supporter of the Kejriwal-led party, said: “Not just from here but the response is very positive from the entire country. But right now my priority is milk.”

Running behind schedule, Singh arrives with a bunch of supporters and is greeted with slogans ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Inquilaab Zindabad’. After greeting people and giving a byte to a television channel, he settles down at the main table along with Desh Raj Raghav, the area’s councillor, who was also the AAP’s candidate during the 2013 assembly polls.

Urging people to recall Bhagat Singh and his aides, Singh asked them to raise slogans. “India’s image in the international press today is ill famous for Damini (the December 16 gang rape victim), 2G and CWG scams. (But) Kejriwal has given us hope, he has given us a dream of a corruption-free India,” Singh told the gathering listening with rapt attention.

Claiming that his fight —and also that of his party’s — is against the 3Cs - criminalisation, corruption and communalism —the journalist turned politician said, “We need to establish a system where politicians cannot incite communal riots, where there will be no scope for corruption.” He also sought to justify Kejriwal’s resignation on February 14, 2014.


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