Indore (MP), November 8
Dressed in jeans and shirt, Aam Aadmi Party’s Indore-4 candidate Piyush Joshi makes a fine impression as an outlier, while his rivals turn up for campaigns in trademark ‘kurta pyjama’ or ‘saree’.
“I am my party’s face,” Joshi tells The Tribune while on canvassing circuit in the segment where locals greet him as “Dr Saheb”. Some even line up with MRI and X-ray reports in hand, hoping for free medical advice. The doctor-candidate obliges readily. “I help people as much as I can. As a doctor, it’s my duty,” says Joshi, a senior consultant physician with a reputed local hospital and research centre and a debutant MLA candidate.
A few volunteers accompanying him, Joshi sells the AAP-ruled Delhi and Punjab development model in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore, promising mohalla clinics in all 13 municipal wards and five higher secondary schools in the historic city. But the road to power is rutted, admits Joshi, one of the 66 AAP candidates in fray in the state where BJP and Congress nominees are directly pitted against each other in all seats.
Most locals feel AAP could play a spoiler for the Congress, which is hoping to dislodge the BJP from power, as party candidates launch personalised campaigns to “win hearts, and not votes alone”.
Joshi is receiving a warm welcome across the segment with people praising his work as a physician and hoping he makes the cut even though he represents a new party. The segment is represented by BJP’s Malini Gaur, a former city Mayor and a multi-term legislator, while the Congress has fielded Raja Mandhwani.
Traditional rivals BJP and Congress are contesting on predictable planks of good governance and development and banking on PM Narendra Modi and Kamal Nath, respectively. Joshi’s campaign slogan is different—“Abki baar, shiksha swasthya aur vyapar (education, health and trade)”.
He is promising the voters a hyper-local e-commerce platform called ‘Indori bazaar’ to save traditional crafts and arts of the city, which are struggling in the age of online shopping. Joshi has also launched an interesting version of his own “vocal for local” campaign titled “Bhai hai mera”. “The campaign urges locals to buy from locals as we are all brothers and need to look out for one another,” he says, aware of the odds but equally aware of the fact that he has nothing to lose.
“Anpadhon mein padha hua aadmi hai (Joshi is an educated man),” Indore-4 resident Mubarak Khan says, acknowledging the professional credentials of Joshi, who is fighting against a sitting MLA of the famous Gaur family of the city.
Banking on Own version of ‘vocal for local’
- Piyush Joshi is promising voters a hyper-local e-commerce platform called ‘Indori bazaar’
- Aim is to save traditional crafts and arts, which are struggling in the age of online shopping
- Has also launched a version of his own “vocal for local” campaign titled “Bhai hai mera”
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