After Delhi, Ludhiana seems to be witnessing a "street sentiment" in favour of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), particularly after the announcement of Supreme Court lawyer and activist HS Phoolka as the party's candidate for the Lok Sabha elections.
Not only has AAP become the nucleus of drawing-room discussions of intellectuals, but people from various walks of life, irrespective of their economic stature, are joining the party.
Not wasting any time, just a day after the announcement of his candidature, Phoolka and his supporters were out on the streets and potholed roads of the city on a "Mission Cleanliness" with the jhadu (broom), the party's election symbol, in their hands.
The disgruntled elements, including Balbir Aggarwal, who was one of the main contenders for the ticket from Ludhiana, that initially appeared to be a negative impact on the party's image, were forgotten for now as Phoolka was welcomed with open arms in every nook and cranny.
Pritam, a party supporter, said, "AAP is all about the party, not individuals. Thus people associated with this party should think above themselves to achieve goals in the larger interest of the public. People who accused the party high command of corruption, simply because they were denied the ticket, could never have worked for the AAP anyway."
From offering their small shops for setting up AAP offices to lending vehicles for campaigning, groups of people supporting AAP in Ludhiana are extending every possible help.
Known for his uprightness and three-decade-long fight for the victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Phoolka was "modesty personified" as he travelled through the stinking lanes of Basti Jodhewal, promising to provide better living conditions.
His pillion ride on a scooter was a particular hit with the not-so-affluent strata in Shimlapuri and adjoining areas. The AAP has been stressing that no pomp and show, just a matter-of-fact approach through direct public contact, is the USP of the party - and that's the approach Phoolka is adopting.
People came out of their houses to meet Phoolka and discussed their problems pertaining to sanitation, water and inflation.
AAP workers are expecting to garner more support from larger sections of society in the coming days. Students remain a focus section for the party.