Rahul, Priyanka cancel on Saharanpur

first_imgA day after the show of strength by the Bahujan Samaj Party-Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance in Saharanpur’s Deoband, the stage was set for Congress president Rahul Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to address supporters in the constituency on Monday.However, after hours of waiting, the crowd gathered at Gandhi Park in Saharanpur left without a glimpse of the brother and sister. According to the announcement made about three hours after the rally was supposed to start, the two leaders were forced to cancel their appearance at the rally in Saharanpur, as well as in Shamli and Bijnor later in the day, due to “bad weather”, which prevented their helicopter from taking off. Ms. Gandhi would, however, hold a roadshow in Saharanpur, which goes to polls on April 11, on Tuesday morning, the party announced.Support for MasoodAs the crowd was gathering at the venue earlier in the day, a dust storm blew through, ripping the tents open and leaving the metal trussing dangling overhead. While the two star campaigners of the party cancelled, many local Congress leaders as well as representatives of the Bhim Army turned up to lend support to the Saharanpur candidate, Imran Masood.Many among the crowd said that they will continue to support and will vote for the Congress candidate, while some felt they were “fooled” and used to assemble a big crowd at the venue.Rashid Ahmed, a carpenter who attended the rally, said: “We will all still vote for the Congress. Priyanka is coming for a roadshow on Tuesday, and we will go and attend that as well.”Mr. Ahmed was interrupted by another member of the crowd, Ishrar, who said: “They have made fools out of us, they just wanted a big crowd.”For Mohammad Farhan, an 18-year-old first-time voter, defeating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government was the aim.“Modi kept promising acchhe din. The good days never came, so we want the old days back. Rahul Gandhi does what he says, Modi only spreads rumours,” he said.Twenty-one-year-old college student Shahrukh Ali said: “Modi has done sabka saath, sabka naash. I opened four zero balance accounts and they are still at zero. Now, I will wait for ₹72,000 [minimum income guaranteed by the Congress].”Rally vs rally Another local at the rally, Gulbahar, said he had attended the gathbandhan’s rally in Deoband on Sunday as well and the turnout was more than that at the Congress rally.“Haji Fazulrahman [the SP-BSP-RLD alliance candidate] may win here, but Rahul should be the next Prime Minister,” he said.Ram Kumar Jogi, a teacher who attended the rally, said: “What they [Mr. Gandhi and Ms. Vadra] did today is disrespect of the whole community. All parties are making false promises.”last_img

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