When it comes to rally arithmetic, the Shiromani Akali Dal seems to know better than its old political rival, Congress.
The party kept its venue at least 7 km away to prevent the possibility of those being ferried on its buses walking away to rallies of the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which were held barely 3 km apart on Koktapura and Bathinda roads here, respectively.
Some supporters were seen coming in buses brought by the Congress and walking away to the AAP rally.
The slow turnout -- partly owing to the traffic jams -- saw the rally organisers and stage managers urging the crowd to sit down as those standing in the middle and on both sides made the attendance look thin. The appeal was repeated not just in words but also in angry gestures by Indian Youth Congress president Amrinder Singh Raja Warring.
In the deluge of buses and motorcycles, nearly 80% of them heading for the AAP rally, were also some Congress supporters, who said they wanted to see and hear AAP national convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. Among them Harminder Singh, 35, from Mandaur village in Patiala, a Congress supporter, said, “We vote for the Congress and have seen the both parties for 60 years. It’s time for a change.”
Unlike in the AAP rally, where many stood on top of buses saying they had arranged funds for buses through village donations, such enthusiasm was missing among Congress supporters.