Dhol beats, selfies with people & meeting leaders at home mark Manish Tewari’s campaign : The Tribune India

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Campaign trail Manish Tewari

Dhol beats, selfies with people & meeting leaders at home mark Manish Tewari’s campaign

Dhol beats, selfies with people & meeting leaders at home mark Manish Tewari’s campaign

Congress candidate for Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat Manish Tewari during a padyatra at Sector 24-C on Thursday. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari



Tribune News Service

Sandeep Rana

Chandigarh, May 23

At 6.30 am, when residents of the Sector 4 locality here are slowly waking up, there is a lot of hustle and bustle in house number 20, the residence of Congress candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat Manish Tewari.

Before heading out for a hectic day of campaigning, Tewari makes a few important calls to mobilise supporters for the day’s activities. “So, we are leaving for the padyatra. Is everything ready?” Tewari confirms with a party leader on the phone.

Dressed in a white kurta-pyjama and sports shoes, perfect for a day of extensive campaigning for a politician, Tewari leaves home in an SUV adorned with the flags of both Congress and AAP, signalling a strong alliance.

On his way to the padyatra, which is set to begin in Sector 24, he makes sure to pick up city Congress president HS Lucky, who has been his constant companion at every event and campaign.

Upon reaching Sector 24, leaders and supporters of both Congress and AAP, carrying their respective party flags, await their leader amid the beats of ‘dhols’. As Tewari steps out of his vehicle, supporters garland him and take selfies with him before he requests them to begin the padyatra.

The march starts from the government houses in Sector 24-C, behind the market. Two to three boys distribute pamphlets as the padyatra progresses and supporters ring the doorbells of houses before Tewari arrives.

Instead of the usual hand-waving, the Congress leader shakes hands with people and interacts with some. “Namaskar ji, I am Manish Tewari, the Congress-AAP candidate,” he says, folding his hands while greeting an elderly woman.

‘Main Manish Tewari, bhaiya, is baar hath-panja’, he tells another man, who is coming out of his house trying to quickly wear his T-shirt. A smiling Tewari halts outside some houses to pose with families who wish to get picture with him.

The padyatra further moves towards lower category houses in the same sector. While walking, supporters accompanying him raise slogans, ‘pragati ki hai tayari, abki bar Manish Tewari’. Cong and AAP party leaders also raise slogans of their respective parties, ‘Congress party zindabad’, ‘Aam Aadmi Party zindabad’. Some youths in the padyatra are seen wearing T-shirts reading ‘Tewari will win’.

“We are confident of our win as the Congress and AAP leaders are united and I am getting unprecedented response from people,” says the former Union minister.

During campaigning in Sector 24, Tewari didn’t miss the chance to halt at house number 84, where he once stayed with his parents and where his father was assassinated in 1984.

“This is the place where my father was assassinated. I vividly remember three terrorists arriving in a car. One of them waited in the car, while two walked towards our doorstep and assassinated my father. At that time my father was nominated member of the Rajya Sabha. This proved the impetus for me to participate in public life,” shares the senior Congress leader.

After about one hour of padyatra, he leaves for his house, where leaders and other people are already waiting for him under a tent in his lawn. Followed by meetings, he later joins ‘Mahila Sammelan’ at the Congress Bhawan in Sector 35 at 12 noon.

Addressing a large gathering of women, he says, “Those who used to talk of 400 seats till yesterday will not win even 300. The Congress is committed to women empowerment. We will provide 20,000 lt of free water and LPG cylinders at cheap rates. Just bring the change on June 1.”

An hour later, he meets a delegation of LIC employees. Later in the day, he holds public meetings at Mauli Jagran, Sector 30 and Mani Majra. Though his campaign ends at about 10 pm, Tewari calls off his day around 1 am.

I am enough to defeat Tandon: Congress candidate

Manish Tewari on Thursday taunted BJP’s Sanjay Tandon that he was too small for Kharge and Rahul. Replying to a question that Tandon had said Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former president Rahul Gandhi had not come to Chandigarh to campaign for him, Tewari said he was himself enough to defeat him. “Mr Tandon will need at least two terms in the Parliament to qualify for the attention of Kharge and Rahul,” Tewari jibed Tandon, while remarking, “He (Tandon) seems to have quite an exaggerated ambitious opinion about himself that will get deflated on June 4”.tns

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