No real challenge for Cong in Tosham
At the village ground, a crowd of around 200, a third of them women, waits to welcome Haryana Tourism Minister Kiran Choudhry.india Updated: Oct 10, 2009 01:00 IST
At the village ground, a crowd of around 200, a third of them women, waits to welcome Haryana Tourism Minister Kiran Choudhry.
As the cavalcade arrives, drummers liven up the atmosphere. The 54-year-old Congress leader is welcomed with garlands and pagris (headgear). Someone gives her a silver gada (mace), which she gleefully swings around for a few seconds to loud cheers from the gathering.
“In every village, there are 14-15 halts on an average. I go and talk to them (villagers). It is like the Jane Fonda aerobic workout,” she says.
After routine speeches, it is her turn to speak to the residents of Miran village. “I do what I promise. And, I can take on anyone for that. Jo kuch rah gaya ibke karungi. Tham jano ho main lath gaad dungi. (Whatever is left, I will do it this time. You know I can have my way),” she says in colloquial Haryanvi.
Choudhry knows what voters want. She can play both the ambitious politician reminding people of her political clout
(her father-in-law was former Haryana chief minister, the late Bansi Lal) and a woman-next-door trying to relate to the day-to-day problems of women voters.
Campaigning in her Assembly constituency of Tosham, she is sitting pretty.
There appears to be no real challenge from her three opponents, Col (retd.) Gajraj Singh of the Indian National Lok Dal, Kamal Singh of Haryana Janhit Congress (BL) and Meena Parmar of the BJP. All three are political greenhorns.
However, Choudhry, who was Deputy Speaker in the Delhi Assembly before she moved to Haryana after her husband Surender Singh’s death in 2005, is toiling relentlessly with the goal of winning the seat by a “record margin”.
She got 1,25,858 of the total 1,26,660 votes polled in the by-election here four years ago.