Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal and his party feel that they have a fighting chance in Bangalore. The crowd that gathered for his road show comprised both supporters and curious onlookers.
Thankfully, for Bangaloreans, there was no chaos unlike Kejriwal’s previous event. Rules were adhered to and cops were all around the city, and did a commendable job. Although there were a couple of jams, the Bangalore police ensured that they did not last long.
Most of the traffic was being diverted since morning.
Kejriwal’s road show commenced at Hebbal in North Bangalore. Kejriwal made several stops where he addressed the people. Other than the issue of corruption he said it was time to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress. His rally also passed through the swanky areas of Jayamahal, Queens Road, Cantonment and RT Nagar. These are the areas the AAP could expect to draw voters, as it still is identified as an urban party.
Kejriwal was flanked by the 3 Bangalore candidates, V Balakrishnan from Bangalore Central, Nina Nayak, Bangalore South and Babu Mathew Bangalore North.
Kejriwal urged the people to vote for his party and remember the ‘broom’ when they press the button on the EVM.
“I am hopeful that the intelligent voter of this cosmopolitan city will make us stronger. We all need to join hands in this fight,” he said. “Bangalore has a great responsibility to provide an alternate government. It is time to clean up the system and provide transparent governance he said.
The day long rally concluded at the war memorial.
Kejriwal received a lot of support in certain pockets of the city. While they supported his views, they also questioned whether if he was voted to power would he be able to form the government at the centre?
Prithvi Reddy, the AAP’s national convenor, said that the party was optimistic and the people of Bangalore were fed up with the BJP and the Congress. “Our campaign will remain simple and this appeals to the people who see honesty in us,” he said.
Kejriwal will face a bigger challenge on Sunday when he participates in a rally at Chikballapur, where Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Veerappa Moily is the Congress candidate.
The English and Hindi speaking crowd in this part of Karnataka is less and it would be a challenge for the AAP to connect with the voter.
However, all through the rally one got the impression that AAP was targeting Bangalore the most in Karnataka. They feel with the large number of educated voters and from the IT sector, they have a chance to win. This optimism remains in the AAP despite most political experts writing them off in Karnataka and giving (BJP PM candidate) Narendra Modi the thumbs up in the state.
Kejriwal will meet with the corporate sector over dinner later on Saturday night where he would discuss various issues which could be made an election plank. While it has been touted as the Rs 20,000 per head dinner, AAP maintains it is fund raiser. We want the fund raising to be transparent. We will give receipts and make it public unlike the other parties, Reddy also informed.
Image: AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal during a rally in Bangalore