The spectacle at the AICC’s Akbar Road HQ was described by some as a “carnival atmosphere” and by others as “complete chaos”. With ruffians belonging to assorted gangs of shouters hanging around, a small-time entertainer parodying Om Jai Jagdish Hare in which Sonia Gandhi replaced god, and an impromptu langar, it was probably a bit of both.
To begin with, senior Congress leader Moti Lal Vora’s harrassment continued. For the second day running, he was pushed around and heckled by angry Congress ticket aspirants and their followers.
At the entrance to the party office stood a mini truck, full of people who had come to demand that the ticket be denied to a sitting woman MLA from east Delhi. A group of around 25 woman with placards were on dharna against the woman MLA. With them was the singer, yelling into a megaphone, begging Sonia for deliverance from the MLA’s “barbarism”.
Fifty-odd supporters of a candidate from the outer Delhi area were roaming around the premises in a noisy group. One of them was abusing a senior AICC leader (involved in the distribution of tickets) into a megaphone. A Congressman standing by watching the tamasha remarked that all 50-odd had been hired from jhuggis for Rs 50 a day with meals thrown in as bonus.
A Sikh aspirant had gone further and decided that the route to support was through supporters’ stomachs. So once the voices of his all-women shouting brigade began to turn faint, an impromptu langar took off on the scene.
A south Delhi MLA whose ticket hopes look dim was parading his “supporters”, distributing pamphlets. “He is a son of the soil and the heartthrob of area residents,” announced a placard being carried around.