No Son-Shine in Kejri Village - The New Indian Express

No Son-Shine in Kejri Village

Published: 06th Apr 2014 08:48:23 AM

Siwani (Bhiwani): Son of the soil he may be, but the roots are not strong enough to pull in the votes. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal was born here in Siwani village of Haryana’s Bhiwani district, and his close relatives are still around, but there appears to be little support on the ground for the activist-turned-politician’s party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Relentless campaigning by Kejriwal’s school friends and relatives have not translated into support for AAP—he is still considered too fresh a face and caste still casts too long a shadow. Kejriwal quitting as Delhi chief minister after a mere 49 days has also not done much for his party’s image.

Kejriwal’s uncle Girdhari Lal and cousin Chiranjeevi Bansal have opened a small party office in the village right next to their shop in Anaj Mandi area. Around 30-35 members of his immediate and extended family have been distributing AAP caps as they seek support for party candidate Lalit Aggarwal contesting from Bhiwani.

 Kejriwal last visited the village back in October, just before his party’s miraculous win in Delhi. But while the capital then welcomed Kejriwal with open arms, 210 km away in his village bordering Hisar, the 13,000 inhabitants remained unmoved.

Most villagers feel it is too early to form an opinion on AAP and they don’t want to vote for a party which doesn’t have a clear future.

Caste also plays an important role in Bhiwani, which is witnessing a triangular fight between sitting Congress MP and Bansi Lal’s granddaughter Shruti Choudhry, turncoat BJP candidate Dharambir Singh, who was Congress MLA from Sohna, and INLD’s Rao Bahadur Singh.

While the villagers acknowledge that AAP has done its bit to cleanse politics, they are equally sure it will take the party a lot more time to emerge as an alternative and they will only vote for the party that has the potential to form the government and address their problems. “Kejriwal doesn’t live in Siwani and neither is he contesting from Bhiwani, so why should we vote for his party? Moreover, it’s a new party with no prospects to form government in the Centre,” says Lovely Singh, who runs a paan shop in the village, summing up the general mood.

The more generous villagers say the party will get some votes in the state and will perform better in the Assembly elections due later this year.

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