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Parties get into poll mode

The Capital’s heavyweights from both the Congress and the BJP, were in campaign mode, with an eye on the coming Lok Sabha polls, reports Avishek G Dastidar.

delhi Updated: Mar 02, 2009, 00:33 IST
Avishek G Dastidar
Avishek G Dastidar
Hindustan Times

The Capital’s heavyweights from both the Congress and the BJP, were in campaign mode on Sunday, with an eye on the coming Lok Sabha polls.

Both parties were busy wooing and connecting with people at strategically vital vote banks across the city.

Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit was seen at Guruvayur temple in Mayur Vihar distributing food and blankets to underprivileged children from the nearby slums. She was at her charming best, even having lunch on the temple ground with the kids.

At another corner of the city, BJP general secretary and former Union minister Vijay Goel was hammer and tongs about “the rights of the slum dwellers”. Led by Goel, residents of slums from several Delhi slums gathered at Jantar Mantar to protest a rehabilitation scheme for slum dwellers recently launched by the Union urban development ministry.

“These schemes never benefit the people but act as a tool to dislodge slum dwellers from their tenements,” Goel said at the rally amid slogans. Attacking Union minister of state for urban development Ajay Maken in particular, Goel said: “He (Maken) has not done anything for the people of Delhi despite having such an important position in the government.” He then led a march to the residence of Union urban development minister S. Jaipal Reddy, which police stopped midway.

But Reddy was in West Delhi, unveiling a statue of Maharaja Surajmal at a stadium at Nangloi , traditionally a Jat stronghold which was formerly a part of the Outer Delhi constituency. Knowing his audience, Reddy enumerated various “farmer-sops” of the UPA government in the past five years. “We have saved the people from sealing as well,” he added.

Congress heavyweight and MP Sajjan Kumar, who according to pundits is on uncertain ground after his Outer Delhi constituency gave way to delimitation, was present as Jat mascot. “We reminded the people what the government has done and also that only an insider can understand the problems and needs of the people,” he said.

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