Pooja Agrawal, Laxmi Nagar housewife, mother of a three-year-old, should have been irritated. She keeps getting telephone calls and SMSes almost every day that are not meant for her. They are all intended for the previous allottee of the MTNL mobile number she got last November.
But Pooja doesn’t mind. Not when one of the SMSes was from Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Another came from none other than prime ministerial aspirant LK Advani!
It happens because the man who earlier held this number was Jayantilal Barot, senior Gujarat BJP leader, who till a year ago when his term ended, was a Rajya Sabha MP. Every MP gets a free SIM card, among the many perks, and this was the number allotted to Barot. He duly surrendered it when he went back to Ahmedabad.
“I am not aware as to who is using the number now,” Barot told Hindustan Times. With elections announced, it is ticket- seekers who have been calling or messaging Pooja.
“I just got a message from one Akhilesh Patel, saying he had faxed his CV and wanted to be considered as BJP candidate for the Surat Lok Sabha seat,” Pooja told HT on telephone, laughing.
Curiously, Pooja’s number also differs by just one digit from that of union minister of state for heavy industries Raghunath Jha as well. She occasionally gets calls and messages meant for him too!