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Rose carpet for Scindia

PTI | ByVinod Sharma, Gwalior
May 08, 2004 01:16 PM IST

Almost half of urban Gwalior turned out to witness the Scindia scion's roadshow through the main bazaars of Lashkar East and West assembly segments.

Jyotiraditya Scindia took time off from electioneering in Guna on Friday afternoon to pack the Congress' campaign here with the punch that many believe could knock the BJP out of the ring.

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HT Image

Almost half of urban Gwalior turned out to witness the Scindia scion's roadshow through the main bazaars of Lashkar East and West assembly segments.

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Along the 10-km route, people showered rose petals and marigold garlands on Jyotiraditya, who told the electorate that a vote for the Congress' Ram Sewak would fetch them not one but two MPs. The allusion to his own candidature from nearby Guna wasn't lost on the milling crowds.

Jyotiraditya kept pointing to Ram Sewak and himself to make the "one vote, two MPs" message the running theme of his roadshow.

At the only public meeting he addressed at Laxmiganj's New Subzi Mandi, he used simple language and imagery to ridicule the BJP's 'feelgood' slogan: "Hindutvawali party hai par Hindi nahin jantee. Fertiliser, cement, sugar, steel … you name an item and it's expensive now, par BJP kahtein hain feel good karo, khush raho. It's your turn now to vote against them and say feel good, be happy."

At the Mandi, Jyotiraditya had his audience in splits with the remark: "Arrey, yeh to mirchi ki mahak hai, isey BJP ki taraf bhejo."

Conscious of his patron's popularity, Ram Sewak, better known as Babuji, is seeking to encash on Jyotiraditya's charisma and the fond memories people have of the late Madhavrao Scindia: "Srimant Scindiaji key adhurey sapney, purey karengey Babuji apney."

The anti-incumbency sentiments against the BJP's Jaibhan Pawaiya are palpably strong in this constituency. But what really makes the Congress' challenge realistic is its hope of weaning the non-Jatav Dalit vote away from Mayawati's BSP.

Sheila woos Shivpuri for Jyotiraditya

Delhi Chief minister Sheila Dikshit hit out at the BJP-led NDA for misleading the nation through slogans like 'India Shining' and 'Bharat Uday' and said all sections of society had suffered during the NDA's six-year rule. "The reality is that farmers were forced to commit suicide and the middle class felt cheated by scams like the UTI," she said.

Addressing a huge rally of farmers, traders and Congress workers here on Thursday, Dikshit said only the Congress had the capability to provide a stable government at the Centre. She was on a day's tour of the Guna-Shivpuri parliamentary constituency and addressed a number of meetings in support of Congress candidate Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Dikshit said Jyotiraditya, like his father Madhavrao Scindia, was a politician committed to development, a fact he had amply demonstrated during his brief stint as MP from Guna. "I am here to seek votes for this young man who is the new image of the Congress leadership," she said. "Jyotiraditya is a modern and forward-looking leader and if you want development in your region, you must strengthen his hands."

Dikshit appreciated Jyotiraditya's efforts in getting Rs 600 crore worth of developmental works completed within a short span of 22 months as an MP.

In his brief address, Jyotiraditya reminded the people of the Scindia family's unique relationship with the Gwalior-Chambal region. "It is not a relationship of an MP and a voter but of a large yet close-knit family," he said, adding that his father always thought of developing the region. "I am following in his footsteps," he said.

Unveiling 'Elections 2024: The Big Picture', a fresh segment in HT's talk show 'The Interview with Kumkum Chadha', where leaders across the political spectrum discuss the upcoming general elections. Watch Now!

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