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HindustanTimes Wed,20 Aug 2014

Not leaders, music is the crowd-puller in south-west Delhi

Sidhartha Dutta, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 28, 2013
First Published: 03:03 IST(28/9/2013) | Last Updated: 07:35 IST(28/9/2013)

Haryanvi folk songs turned out to be the crowd-puller at an Aam Aadmi Party election rally at Bijwasan in southwest Delhi, which was addressed by its leader Arvind Kejriwal, who was speaking in support of party candidate Col Devender Sehrawat.

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The crowd began to thicken as the folk band, Azad group from Khanda Kheri village of Hisar district in Haryana, began its performance.

“We’ve come here to listen to Ragini folk songs. But of course, Kejriwal is an attraction. This time it’ll be a tough contest between Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the AAP,” Om Prakash, 75, a resident of the village, said

The singers had added Kejriwal and current political and social issues to their repertoire. It was followed by Shehnaz Sultanpuri’s powerful patriotic verses, which too enthralled the people till the time the AAP leader arrived to the jam-packed venue.

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“The problems here are just too many. The Bijwasan flyover is incomplete for past five years. Land allotted for 200-bed hospital is lying vacant. Sewer lines are choked and never cleaned. We are forced to drink hard water from tube wells, as there is no pipe water,” said Manoj Kumar, 43, a government servant.

When Kejriwal arrived, he was adorned with a turban as a mark of respect. Speaking barely hours after meeting President Pranab Mukherjee, Kejriwal said the Congress’s handling of the ordinance passed by his Cabinet to shield convicted lawmakers from disqualification was a joke.

“The same party which passes the ordinance rejects it. Do they think people are fools?” he said hinting at the remark by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who described the ordinance as “nonsense”.

Kejriwal promised people of an honest government and tackling of local problems at the earliest when his party comes to power.

The candidate Sehrawat said: “This government has neglected rural Delhi during its long rule. We’ll ensure that when AAP comes to power, the government funds will be in the hands of the people.”


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