Not hand but lotus this time, Tirath tells voters

Not hand but lotus this time, Tirath tells voters

There is a marked difference between BJP candidate Krishna Tirath’s planned and unplanned campaigns. Unlike other times when the voices of voters get drowned by the din of drumbeats, she gets to hear them loud and clear during an unplanned visit to the colonies.

One such unplanned campaign at Gulshan Chowk in the Patel Nagar constituency on Monday threw up voices of several voters who were found unaware that she had quit the Congress to join the BJP.

“Don’t worry, my entire family will vote for the Congress,” Mamata Devi, a widow in the area, assured Tirath. “Not the Congress, lotus this time,” Tirath immediately corrected her. “Lotus now?” the bewildered Mamata asked herself.

But the leader was not found wanting while dealing with this situation. Since most voters seemed to recognise her by the face, she focused on ensuring they get her election symbol right. “Press the lotus button. The sister is the same, the family is the same, only the symbol has changed,” she told a voter. She even used the “V for victory” sign to convey that they must choose the second option—which is the BJP—on the voting machine.

The party symbol seemed to weigh upon her so much that there were only a few times she named either the BJP or Narendra Modi while interacting with voters. “Lotus, lotus, lotus,” she told everyone she came across.

A voter Indira Devi asked Tirath if she too had changed with the switch of the party. “I might have changed the party, but I am the same sister you have always known. Remember, the symbol is lotus,” she told Indira.

Another voter Vijay Laxmi Pandit, a Congress supporter for 25 years, did not hide her angst over the switch.

“You shifted to BJP because the Congress did nothing during its rule. But even Modi has done nothing in the six months,” complained Pandit.

Like she did with any other angry voter – most of who complained about lack of water and good roads - Tirath spent considerable time explaining her switch to Pandit. “I raised many of these colonies in the 1980s. See what has happened to the roads and drains in the 15 years that I was away. Vote for lotus now and see the difference,” she told Pandit.

Tirath kept away from directly attacking the Congress or AAP. In fact, she reprimanded a party worker Shambhu Sharma who mentioned Arvind Kejriwal’s visit to the area while addressing a gathering. “Why do you talk nonsense? Speak only about lotus,” Tirath cut short Sharma’s speech.

The mention of Kejriwal’s name had drawn a loud applause from some youths atop a truck at Gulshan Chowk. “I have got a very sharp sight. I saw the reaction of those youths,” Tirath later told Sharma.

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