In the Ramlila Grounds here on Tuesday afternoon, there is a family more famous than the Gandhis: that of Chaudhary Charan Singh’s.
A sizeable crowd came to listen to Mathura’s sitting MP and Rashtriya Lok Dal’s Lok Sabha candidate Jayant Chaudhary and his father Ajit Singh.
Interestingly, as soon as Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi took the dais and started speaking, several in the crowd made their way to the exits.
On the last day of campaigning here, the RLD came together with its ally, the Congress in an effort to convince people to press the button near the ‘Hand pump’ symbol on April 24. The crowd made up of farmers mostly male--the RLD’s voter base–were only “onefourth the amount that Monday’s Modi rally attracted,” according to a policeman on duty.
“I came as a new face in 2009 and you all trusted me. You treated me like a son and I have worked hard for five years,” said Mr. Chaudhary, to a responsive crowd, about his time as MP from here. “My five-year record is in front of you. What I could, I did and now it is time for you to decide. I won’t make big promises to get your vote but I will assure you that I will be by yourself when you need me.”
Recollecting his campaigning time ahead of the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, he said: “Some of you said that I won’t live here and I will go away but even today I am standing in front of you.” Mr. Singh attacked BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s “divisive” politics and said his only goal was to become Prime Minister but has not articulated his vision for the poor. “If you want to keep Chaudhary Charan Singh’s legacy alive then vote for Jayant!” he said.