People offer ladoos, shower flowers on Harsh Vardhan

In the narrow bylanes of Anguri Bagh in Chandni Chowk Assembly constituency, women and men waited with garlands outside their houses around 2 pm.

While tea vendors put off their ovens to welcome “the leader” in their colony, a four-year-old girl with a wide grin snatched a “Modi for PM” cap from her playmate.

The cheers of the gathering grew louder as Harsh Vardhan, the BJP candidate from Chandni Chowk constituency, entered the area to campaign for the upcoming polls.

As one Israr gently shook hands with Vardhan, the female members of his family were seen showering flower petals on Vardhan from a window of their two-storey house.
“Only BJP can bring in change. Dr Vardhan is a well-known face in the colony. We will vote for him,” said the man in his early thirties.

As Vardhan’s vehicle moved forward with the BJP slogans booming on the loudspeakers, women made a beeline to garland him. 

“Vote for Dr Vardhan and help Modi form the government,” Surekha Gupta, a councillor from Chandni Chowk, told the crowd.

A group of labourers coyly waited under a shade too see the vehicle pass. Vardhan warmly waved to them, drawing a loud applause.

While children ran to keep pace with the moving car, a group of women passed a box of ladoos to “our Dr Vardhan”. Some approached him with the problem of waterlogging during the rainy season.

“Your problems will be seen to. Have faith in me,” he reassured three middle-aged women.

“The whole colony will vote for Dr Vardhan,” said Anita Yadav, a resident of Anguri Bagh, enthusiastically.

Another supporter Nirmala joined in. “He is the most grounded politician I have seen.”Poonam Rastogi, a party worker and a resident of Chandni Chowk, said Vardhan’s win from Chandni Chowk is assured. 

“I am saying this not because I am a BJP party worker. I realised this on interacting with residents of the area. They are loyal supporters not only of the party but of Dr Vardhan.”

While the mood of the crowd seemed upbeat, a party insider, who requested anonymity, was seen glumly folding the “BJP muffler” as Vardhan’s vehicle mingled in the traffic. 

“I only came to join the campaign because Dr Vardhan called me up personally. There is so much infighting in the party. My inclination is gradually shifting to the jhaduwalas,” said the 58-year-old man.

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