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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Ghaziabad candidates hit Lok Sabha campaign trail with family, lunch box and late-night meetings

With campaign programmes having started to run till midnight, candidates in the Ghaziabad Lok Sabha constituency have also sought support from their family members for canvassing door-to-door.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Mar 28, 2019 17:21 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times, Ghaziabad
Congress candidate Dolly Sharma speaks during a rally ahead of Lok Sabha elections, at Hapur road, in Ghaziabad,  March 22, 2019.
Congress candidate Dolly Sharma speaks during a rally ahead of Lok Sabha elections, at Hapur road, in Ghaziabad, March 22, 2019. (Sakib Ali / HT Photo )
         

With hardly 12 days left for campaigning for the first phase of the 2019 general elections, the candidates are leaving no stone unturned to woo an estimated 27 lakh voters of the Ghaziabad parliamentary constituency. With campaign programmes having started to run till midnight, the candidates have also sought support from their family members for canvassing door-to-door.

Seventy-six-year-old Suresh Bansal said his wife, Mithlesh, daughter-in-law Anshul and granddaughter have joined the campaigning process. Suresh recently migrated to the Samajwadi Party (SP) from the Bahujan Samaj Party BSP), and was nominated as the SP-BSP-RLD alliance candidate for the Ghaziabad seat for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

“It is difficult for me to campaign as temperatures are also on rise. The Ghaziabad district has villages and rural areas in its interiors. My wife and other family members are lending me their support. I even have about 100 relatives who are part of the extended family. They will also join in. My relatives and friends will also arrive from Dadri, where I used to live earlier and was a former chairman of the municipal board,” Suresh said.

“Generally, a candidate attends 10-12 meetings a day, after which he or she gets exhausted. This is where family members and relatives come in handy,” he added.

He added that due to hectic campaigns, it is not possible to have home-made food and he generally has lunch or snacks at the homes of his supporters, wherever he goes. He added that he has been also getting ample support from supporters of BSP and RLD as well.

Most of the candidates nowadays visit parks and tea stalls early morning, where local residents are found in large numbers, and partake political discussions.

Congress candidate Dolly Sharma, an MBA, comes from a family of politicians. Her father Narendra Bhardwaj is a Congress leader.

“My husband, Deepak, has taken 10-12 days off from work and is out to meet people. I am delighted that he has taken leaves and is helping me out. He rushes to his office whenever there is an urgent meeting and then comes back to the constituency. My father and in-laws are also backing me. They had also campaigned for me during the Mayoral elections,” Dolly said.

She said she packs a lunch and snacks in a tiffin box and never forgets to carry sachets of oral rehydration salts.

“I generally don’t eat out but recently I had pure ghee balushahis when I went to a village in Loni. My grandmother is from that village and I could not deny the delicacy served to me,” she added.

Union minister VK Singh is the BJP candidate from the Ghaziabad Lok Sabha seat.
Union minister VK Singh is the BJP candidate from the Ghaziabad Lok Sabha seat. ( Sakib Ali / HT Photo )

General VK Singh, from the BJP, has been on a tight schedule, holding at least 10 meetings in different areas. The BJP workers closely involved in his campaigns said his wife, Bharti Singh, and daughter Mrinalini have also began meeting people ahead of elections.

“Both of them campaigned for him during the 2014 elections as well. Late night, when the retired General returns to his residence at Raj Nagar, there is a meeting with family members where a strategy for the next day is chalked out, following which a long meeting is held with party workers for deciding their schedule,” a BJP supporter from the party’s district unit said.

“Soon, VK Singh will be joined by several retired defence officers who will plan out different strategies and take charge of managing his work. Retired officers had also joined Gen Singh during the 2014 election campaign,” he added.

VK Singh said, “Everyone will be campaigning for me as the nominations have been filed. Our task is to reach out to maximum voters.”

The Ghaziabad constituency spreads up to part of Dhaulana in Hapur to Loni near the Delhi border. The city area comprises major localities like Sahibabad, Vijay Nagar, Kavi Nagar and Raj Nagar besides Indirapuram, Vaishali, Kaushambi and Vasundhara. Meeting voters who have moved to Raj Nagar Extension and Crossings Republik is an added task.

For complete coverage of Lok Sabha Elections 2019, click here

First Published: Mar 28, 2019 17:19 IST