Jaswant Singh, who came all the way from Bhiwani, was one of the hundreds of such people who travelled long distances only to listen to their leader Arvind Kejriwal, who they believe will bring a positive change. "Kejriwal to imaandaar hai. Wo janta hai ki system kaise theek kiya jaye (Kejriwal is honest. He knows how to correct the system)," said Jaswant Singh.
Jiwan Ram, another villager who had accompanied Jaswant for the rally, said, "Several of our fellow villagers are also coming by train, we could come early as we all hired a maxi cab." Gajender Kumar, who came from Uttar Pradesh, said, "I could not have used my Sunday better than using it for supporting Kejriwal, who is fighting against the system."
Rajeshwari, a college girl from Delhi was also here with her friends with the hope that AAP would better its performance in Haryana as compared to Delhi. "Issues of the country from North to South are all same. Corruption, inflation and unemployment have made every common man life's hell. Under this scenario, the new party's issue-based politics is a refreshing and welcome gesture for people."
A group of youngsters, who were cheering and raising slogans in favour of Kejriwal, started charging towards the stage seeing their leader, but were stopped by the security personnel. "The educational degree is not sufficient in the regimes of established parties. We are here to support the party's agenda of transparency in recruitment," the group said.
In an almost identical atmosphere as it was during the Anna movement at Ram Lila Maidan in Delhi, the public, especially youngsters, were waving flags and dancing on the patriotic songs. Pin-drop silence was observed during Kejriwal's more than half-an-hour speech.
Observers give thumbs up
Experts said that the public support to the fledgling party in its first rally outside Delhi was significant at a time when the party has nothing to offer except hope of change.
"It was interesting to note that the party that has no political legacy and established cadres managed to pull crowds in big numbers. This will leave a mark on the state's politics," said another observer.