This former minister doesn’t lose speed on campaign trail

This former minister doesn’t lose speed on campaign trail

Katta Subramanya Naidu

“Keep going... there’s already a traffic jam ahead,” Katta Subramanya Naidu chided his driver as the open-top jeep slowed down.

The former minister did not seem to lose speed or energy as his campaign vehicle traversed through the bylanes of Shivajinagar on a day of busy campaigning.

When he spoke at different points — basically in Hindi and Urdu to reach out to the Muslim voters — his voice eclipsed the surrounding noise even as party workers urged the crowd to pay attention to the veteran politician.

The BJP candidate, who had to skip the 2013 elections as he was in prison in a corruption case, left home at 6.30 am and went about meeting residents at the chief minister’s office employees’ quarters, Raj Bhavan employees’ quarters, besides the police and CID quarters.

Around 10.30 am, Naidu’s open jeep rolled along Broadway Road, Russell Market and Narona Road as he waved at the crowd and showed the victory symbol. His supporters bellowed slogans in his favour.

Party workers, dismayed by Naidu staying in the vehicle, asked him to dismount and meet the people. “Katta sir, get down, meet every shopper in person and request for their votes. It wouldn’t help (to stay on the vehicle),” bawled a worker from the crowd at Chandni Chowk.

Naidu sensed the mood and alighted the vehicle, albeit a little unwillingly, and jaunted along the road interacting with street vendors and mechanics.

A while later, he got on to the vehicle, saying he won’t be able to walk anymore.

As he addressed a crowd at a circle, an autorickshaw sporting the broom symbol of the Aam Aadmi Party vied for attention.

“Shivajinagar is hit by several problems. There seems to be no political change; nor are they any solutions to the issues. We’re not sure who’s going to come to power this time. Whoever it is, they should ensure that the people don’t have to cover their nose with handkerchiefs to avoid the bad smell,” a shop owner in the constituency urged.

Naidu was accompanied by Vidya, wife of RSS worker Rudresh who was killed in October 2016. “He would’ve got the ticket had he been alive,” she said.

Also on the campaign trail of the former minister was Haider Azam, vice-president, BJP’s Mumbai unit.