Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Posted at: May 16, 2019, 7:46 AM; last updated: May 16, 2019, 10:33 AM (IST)CAMPAIGN TRAIL, KIRRON KHER (BJP), CHANDIGARH

Kher charms with selfies

Sandeep Rana

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15

It is not the alarm clock, but the phone call which makes local MP Kirron Kher wake up in the morning. Busy campaigning these days, Kher said she wished she too had a mother to take care of her as well as her household chores.

Around 6 am, the actress-turned-politician’s phone starts vibrating. She starts receiving a number of calls about her day’s plan and other party activities. “I have to manage two offices and two houses in Delhi and Chandigarh. I wish I had a mother or a daughter-in-law to look after all these things,” she smiles.

While getting ready, she has to sign cheques or check some documents. While her phone keeps ringing on her table, she has her breakfast, which mostly comprises multi-grain chapati, curd and sabzi.

By this time, her media adviser comes with an updated list of the day’s events. Around 10.30 am, she leaves from the Sector 7 government residence for her first event, which is a visit to a house in Sector 40. She never misses her morning prayers and these days offers prayers in the car. Her staff members accompanying her sit quietly as she silently prays en route her first public interaction of the day.

“In the first half, we mostly keep private meetings with people at their residences. Since people find it difficult to bear with the heat, we keep the schedule of jan sabhas in the evenings,” she says.

As she reaches outside a house in Sector 40, people surround her car raising party slogans even before she opens the door of her Mercedes car. As people start clicking her photos and take selfies, she makes her way to the place where she has to address and meet a small group of people.

Accompanied by former BJP MP Satya Pal Jain and former Mayor Davesh Moudgil on the dais, she tells people to vote for a clean and honest government. After her address, she does not disappoint the people waiting to get clicked with her. People, especially women and youth, surround her to get clicked with her.

As she moves forward after entertaining them, a news channel is already waiting for her. They do a 15-minutes interview with her. Following this, her vehicle leaves for the next public interaction at Makhan Shah Lubana Bhawan, Sector 30. There too, a similar buzz is seen among the crowd. After this, she goes to a Sector 15 house of Brahma Kumaris.

Now, she heads back home and has her lunch, which comprises chapati, sabzi and dal. “We try that I get one hour in the afternoon. I do not eat outside and have lunch at home as I want to avoid any problem in the middle of intense campaigning,” she says.

After her lunch, she meets industry associations and social organisations at her residence and they offer her support. Later in the day, independent candidate Karan Vasudeva assures Kher of his support. Contesting with ‘key’ as the symbol, Karan says he has been highly inspired by the achievements and vision of PM Narendra Modi at the Centre and Kher in Chandigarh. 

Before she can leave for her evening jan sabhas, two media houses are already waiting to interview her. Having taken a deep breath, she invites them inside her drawing room and gives interviews.

And it’s evening now. Young students and faculty and non-faculty members of the PU are waiting for her scheduled sabha at 5.45 pm. Recalling her college days when she used to study here and would go on gheris, she leaves her car and rides pillion on a Harley Davidson from her house to the PU. As Kher enters the PU gate in front of Sector 15, she is surrounded by photojournalists. Wearing a suit and reflector sunglasses with a helmet, the MP draws the attention of passersby. “When in Rome, do as Romans do. She is coming in a young crowd and so she wants to appeal to them,” says her aide.

In her address, the former PU student recalls how they used to come on bikes in this “open and happy environment”. She also remembers having noodles at Ginza Restaurant at the PU. “After winning elections, we will sit together there to have a Chinese meal,” she tells the crowd.

The BJP leader also slammed the “tukde tukde gang”. “They raised slogans against the country at JNU and some of them have also come to the PU now. So, you have to decide which government you want to choose, the one which enters the terrorists’ den or the one which talks of removing the Army from Kashmir to give an open invite to the terrorists,” she asks.

Later, during her address in Sector 15, she narrates the work she has done for the city. After this, she has her jan sabhas in Kishangarh and Mauli Jagran. She finishes her campaigning around 10 pm. Kher says her address is not prepared and is impromptu. “Having reached home, I ask for dinner and sometimes, by the time it is on the table, I doze off,” she says.


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