Advani gets family help
It was his 38-year-old son Jayant who held fort in his Gandhinagar seat along with his mother Kamala, wife Deepika and sister Pratibha.
When Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani was away on his 'Bharat Uday Yatra,' it was his 38-year-old son Jayant who held the fort in his constituency Gandhinagar along with his mother Kamala, wife Deepika and sister Pratibha.
The Advani family was showered with flowers wherever they went in this BJP-stronghold from where Advani is seeking re-election.
But the most touching moment for Jayant during the fortnight-long campaign was when he was told of the death of a child who was photographed with him during a similar trip in 1999.
In the outskirts of the city, Jayant came across a photograph of his with a young boy prominently displayed in a small drawing room. As he looked at picture closely, he was told that the child had died in the 2001 earthquake. "It was a very touching moment for me. I felt very bad," Jayant told HT.
The whole family toured the constituency with the local BJP MLA in tow. They also undertook a Jan Sampark campaign in an open jeep.
"We were showered with a lot of love and affection," Jayant said. Some people called us in for tea and others invited us for lunch, he said. But, politically, what must have satisfied the Advani junior was to be told that the supply of drinking water supply had improved because new pipelines had been laid in the city. "During the campaign in 1999, people used to complain about water shortage," he said.
Many people told the Advani family about the positive achievements of the NDA government. They also said that Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the most suitable candidate for the Prime Minister's job, Jayant said.
He also dispelled the impression that his family campaigned here only because Advani was busy with his "Bharat Uday Yatra". Even in 1999, when there was no yatra, Jayant said he had camped here for 15 days. Advani campaigned for just three or four days at the time, he said.
Jayant is confident that Vithalbhai Pandya, father of slain former Gujarat minister Haren Pandya, would not make any dent to his father's prospects. Pandya is contesting as an Independent from Gandhinagar.