NATIONAL

Wives hit campaign trail

IANS

They are apolitical and have been pursuing their independent careers, but the general elections have brought them out on the campaign trail. Wives of several Lok Sabha candidates here are busy for over 20 hours a day, wooing voters on behalf of their husbands.

The wives are concentrating on women voters who form over 45 per cent of Delhi’s electorate.

Promila Sibal, wife of Congress candidate from Chandni Chowk Kapil Sibal, says: “Chandni Chowk constituency has a large minority population and women feel shy talking to men. So, I am personally managing Sibalji’s campaign and have been holding several all-woman meetings, padyatras and door-to-door campaigns to understand their problems,” Ms. Promila says. “I am a totally apolitical person and have been campaigning to support my husband,” said Promila, who runs her own business.

Urmila Mishra, wife of Congress candidate from west Delhi Mahabal Mishra, says: “I have a big team to help manage the campaign. I have targeted some specific areas in west Delhi where I meet women, youths and old people. I start at 7 a.m. and campaign tiall as long as midnight.

“The issues are the same. People want bijli, pani, safai and sadak [electricity, water, hygiene and roads] in their areas. I tell them until the party is voted to power I am helpless and they should vote for the party. Women voters listen to me patiently, discuss their problems and promise to vote for our candidate,” says Ms. Mishra, a homemaker.

Preeti Goel, wife of BJP candidate from New Delhi Vijay Goel, has been listing major issues raised by voters during her campaign to provide feedback to her husband.

“My daughters and I have been campaigning in the constituency for the last one month and we found that a large number of people do not have their voter identity cards.

"People are troubled by rising prices of essential commodities and unemployment. I do give my feedback to Goelji,” says Ms. Preeti, a professor of nutrition and dietetics in Delhi University.

The candidates’ family lives have been turned topsy turvy by the campaign schedules.

“In the last one month I think we have spoken only for an hour. I call him only when there is something very urgent,” Ms. Sibal says.

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