‘Master Kejriwal’ steals hearts of supporters outside AAP office
Inside the single-storey party office, supporters and media persons had assembled in large numbers near a stage, festooned with garlands, flower bouquets and balloons.Updated: Feb 12, 2020 03:48 IST
Around 11 am on a cold winter’s morning on Tuesday, the road near the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) office in central Delhi’s Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg was peopled with street food vendors, music groups, and performance artistes. Supporters of the party gathered there in large numbers while trends on TV news channels predicted a convincing win for the AAP in the 2020 assembly polls in the Capital.
Inside the single-storey party office, supporters and media persons had assembled in large numbers near a stage, festooned with garlands, flower bouquets and balloons. On one corner of the stage was a podium from which chief minister Arvind Kejriwal would make his victory address later in the day.
Big screens were set up outside the party office to help supporters keep up with news of the results.
Among the crowd was a toddler, whose parents had dressed him up in a fake moustache, a muffler, spectacles and a Gandhi cap — a more than passing likeness of the chief minister. He became the centre of attention as scores of supporters gathered around him and his parents, clicking selfies. Images of one-year-old Avyaan Tomar soon flooded social media with captions such as “Baby Kejriwal” and “mufflerman”, a term that referenced Kejriwal’s fondness for the winter accessory.
“It is an important day for us and this was our own way of showing our love for the AAP,” the toddler’s father, Rahul Tomar, a businessman, told reporters. His wife, Meenakshi, recalled how, five years ago, Avyaan’s older sister, Fairy, had dressed in a similar fashion for Kejriwal’s swearing-in ceremony at Ramlila Maidan. The parents said they have been AAP supporters since the party’s inception.
Kejriwal and some other party leaders remained within the office premises, glued to television screens. Soon images appeared on social media of the chief minister celebrating the birthday of his wife, Sunita, a former Indian Revenue Service officer. The couple’s son and daughter also participated in the celebrations.
People waved brooms — the election symbol of the AAP — other carried placards in which messages ranged from support for Kejriwal to resistance against the recently amended citizenship law and the idea of the National Register of Citizens.
“The voters of Delhi have made a choice: politics of love and development over politics of hate. The BJP had turned the campaign toxic, trying to divide people on Hindu-Muslim lines,” said Vandana Mishra, a resident of the Adarsh Nagar, a supporter.
Mohammad Alam, a resident of Kondli assembly constituency, said: “It looks like the BJP’s attempts to divide voters have failed. What has clicked among voters are achievements and assurances of the party.”