Congmen pull out stops to ensure audience for Sonia
Therefore, to avoid traffic jams, Sonia will be flying the rally venues in a helicopter. And candidates will pull out all stops to ensure there are people to hear her after she lands.india Updated: Nov 27, 2003 11:55 IST
Fear that a thin audience will greet Sonia Gandhi when she arrives for her three election rallies in the city on Thursday has prompted the Congress to send out word that candidates -- and their supporters -- must be at the venues well before the scheduled time. Even if it means cancelling their own campaign programmes for the day.
Congress poll strategists have learnt two valuable lessons from Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's rallies last week.
One, that people who are greatly inconvenienced by VIP movement in the city may actually vote against the party, and two, the stature or charisma of a leader is by itself no guarantee of a huge turnout.
Therefore, to avoid traffic jams, Sonia will be flying the rally venues in a helicopter. And candidates will pull out all stops to ensure there are people to hear her after she lands.
The party has divided the city into three zones centred on Sonia's rally venues. New Delhi, south Delhi and south-west Delhi are in the Chiragh Delhi zone where she will address her first rally. East and central Delhi are in the Dilshad Garden zone, venue of rally number two. And North and West Delhi are in Mangolpuri.
Each candidates will attend the rally in his area. They have been told to organise vehicles to ferry people to the venues, besides the food that will be distributed among the rallyists.
Delhi's pronounced disinterest in public rallies in these elections has left no leader untouched.