On final day of Kejriwal’s visit


Ahmedabad, 8 March 2014

So how was the response to Arvind Kejriwal’s rally in Ahmedabad?

Well we visited the place and found several NGOs jointly could gather around 2,500-3,000 people(most of them in white caps or with white flags in hand). Other 1000 odd people were local and they were standing there with curiosity. So total crowd was around 4,000-5,000. If we see the earmarked area of rally venue, not even half was filled with people. We identified earmarked area with loud speakers put on streetlight pillars.

None of the speakers could actually charm the public. It is because they were raising same issues that Gujarat Congress has raised during last over ten years. Pointing allegations against Modi and his government for corruption, land allotments to industries, loopholes in public services, usage of chopper and planes etc is very common, and Congress is doing same for last many years. It just doesn’t stop Modi march to 2/3rd majority in assembly polls.

Then you just can’t understand the common man. We went to roof of a flat building to take right assessment of attendance, and a middle age couple watching the rally with curiosity told us about Kejrirwal’s failure in Delhi. The couple told us, “this man couldn’t do much in Delhi, and now he is here. Next time he may not get even 8 seats in Delhi.”

What you are is more important than what you say, and that’s exactly the problem with Kejriwal. When he came to politics, he had no baggage to carry, but in very short period he has emerged as just another politician, and people are not unaware.

Coming back to coverage. Kejriwal came to rally venue in open jeep via road-show that also passed through Maninagar assembly area which is represented by Narendra Modi in assembly.At around dozen places, enthusiastic groups of around 25-50 people were waiting for him and as soon as he reached they garlanded Kejriwal on way to Bapunagar rally venue.

In his speech, AAP’s naxal sympathizer leader Gopal Rai said, “we had expected that we would be attacked while passing through the constituency area of Narendra Modi, but contrary to our belief, it was a smooth ride, and only at one place we found a group of 50-100 shouting Modi’s name.”

Gopal Rai’s these words clearly demonstrate that team Kejriwal was perhaps expecting something newsworthy to happen while passing through Maninagar, and perhaps the choice of Maninagar route for road show was due to this reason. What actually happen was that the fans of Modi just didn’t take notice of Kejriwal’s road-show barring at one place in Khokhra area.

The TV media coverage on Kejriwal’s today’s Ahmedabad visit was moderate. Even Kejriwal knows that without trolling big persons like Narendra Modi and Mukesh Ambani (earlier Sheila Dixit) he has nothing much to offer, and without stunts and controversies he is not worth noticing. Some channels however covered how Kejriwal used dark black window car which is not legal, or how he used more than ten cars for which there was not permission, or how his supporters with AAP topis were not wearing helmet which is again illegal.

With a felicitation and dinner event hosted by Ahmedabad Mirror newspaper at Ahmedabad’s one of the costliest hotels, Kejriwal’s much hyped Gujarat visit will end tonight.

Overall his visit to Gujarat was like a visit of some BSP, SP, JDU, NCP, TMC or CPI/CPM leader visiting Gujarat. Only exception was active participation of some NGO, extensive media coverage, and some curiosity among people.

This video is captured from the tail of the earmarked area(for rally). While left lane is reserved for rally but it is half filled, the right lane has been kept open for walking. The video has been taken when half the speeches are over.

Additional input

(1)The locals pointed out that good number of diamond industry workers were standing under the building next to the stage because the public meeting was going on just at the doorstep.

(2)Our estimate of 4000-5000 is liberal one and at peak. It could be less than that.


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