Shanti Bhatia, 70, and her brother, Athar Singh, 75, had come early on Sunday afternoon at Ajmal Khan Park to secure couple of the “best seats” available. These two Congress supporters, who claimed to be with the party for over 50 years, had come for their “love of the party” and nostalgia of good old days.
“We love the party. I had also come for Indira Gandhi rally here. I was really excited about coming here for the past couple of days,” Bhatia, a resident of Mangolpuri, said.
The mega Sonia Gandhi rally in Karol Bagh saw Congress workers from all over the Capital flocking in large numbers to Ajmal Khan Park on Sunday afternoon.
Pankaj Sharma, a 28-year-old from Moti Nagar, Karampura, came in a bus with 70-odd people from his neighbourhood. “Our locality is a BJP-dominated area but still we will fight. We will do whatever it takes to ensure that the New Delhi Lok Sabha Congress candidate Ajay Maken wins,” the Youth Congress worker said.
From Kirari, Sukhbir Singh, another party worker, came with over 150 people stuffed in three buses. “Our sitting MP Krishna Tirath will win this time as well. We are here since 3pm to get inspired by national leaders like Soniaji,” Singh said.
Many women party workers were spotted, too, in the crowd, which according to Delhi police was over 20,000. Razia Khatun, a housewife from Majnu ka Tilla, had come since noon. When asked whether there were food arrangements at the rally venue, she said water packets were available but no food.
“One day if you don’t get food it is fine. We are here not to eat but to hear our leaders. Prahlad Singh Sahni, our former MLA, has done a lot for us. Even though Harsh Vardhan from BJP is there in the fray this time, our party will win,” Razia said.
However, many others got yummy food packets. Sudha Shri, a self-proclaimed rally veteran from Lajpat Nagar, said they have got food the moment they arrived at 11. “We were given packets of poori, aloo gobhi ki sabzee and chole. Water is available in pouches. Plus there are mobile toilets, too. The arrangements are good this time,” she said.
Many youngsters were also spotted in the Congress strength-show fest. Rupesh Kumar, a 21-year-old from Bapa Nagar, will vote for the first time in Lok Sabha polls. “I have come along with 10 others from my area. This is my first time at a rally of such magnitude. Have come to hear the speeches and see Soniaji,” Kumar said.