Mixed response to Sonia's rally
Though the Congress left no stone unturned to ensure that party president Sonia Gandhi's Sunday rally at Ajmal Khan Park here was a success, some people were not excited about the event with one saying all parties were the same and there was no expectation from any of them.
Congress volunteers and party leaders were seen monitoring the arrangements, asking police to allow in the crowd that was initially not let in due to lack of space.
Though the venue was relatively a small one, it was more or less packed.
When the rally ended, the adjacent Faiz Road was hit by a traffic jam for quite some time, despite the fact that police were stopping cycle-rickshaws and diverting traffic even before the rally started.
One commuter on a motorcycle, who was stopped, was seen explaining to police that he lived there and hence should be let in.
Passers-by had a mixed response to the rally.
An auto-driver said all political parties were the same and there was no expectation from any of them.
"We are daily wage earners. We have to keep working and earning our bread. Our condition is not going to improve. So why should we be excited about rallies?" he said.
Beeran, a cycle-rickshaw driver, however, was keen about the Congress's pro-poor campaign.
"I will vote for the hand, of course," he said. He was soon interrupted by another rickshaw puller who shouted "Modi".
Taking note of party vice president Rahul Gandhi's rally in November where people started leaving in the middle of his speech for not being provided water, party volunteers Sunday made more than adequate arrangements.
However, when the rally ended, the venue was littered with empty water pouches. Some people were seen leaving the venue with several pouches of water in their hands.
Though Sonia Gandhi arrived an hour and a half behind schedule at 5.30 p.m., party leaders Mukesh Sharma, Sandeep Dikshit, Ajay Maken, Shakeel Ahmad, Arvinder Singh Lovely and Ramesh Kumar kept the crowd engrossed with their speeches.
The rally was the first by a top Congress leader after Indira Gandhi held a rally in 1979 at the same venue, party leaders said.
"Indira Gandhi was able to create a wave for herself from this park rally in Delhi in 1979 and won the Lok Sabha election in 1980. Soniaji will do the same this time," Mukesh Sharma said.
(Posted on 30-03-2014)