31 July, 2021

Zafrani Pulao

Azad’s plodding, BJP riding Modi wave

Zafrani Pulao

Under an overcast sky, the motorcade of Ghulam Nabi Azad, outgoing health minister in the UPA government, crawls along a dilapidated road before entering a dusty village. It’s supposed to be a road show. Azad himself is standing in an open jeep, accompanied by several partymen and surrounded by enthusiastic supporters, about a 100-odd. Yet he looks pensive.

Some distance away, local artiste Gani Gujjar is dancing in celebration, indifferent to the candidate and his carcade. He had been engaged by the party to entertain onlookers till Azad arrived. But even after he does, the 300-odd people seem more mesmerised by him than Azad.

The carcade moves on after a while as Azad and local MLA and minister of state for cooperatives, Manohar Lal Sharma, wave to the gathering. They also try to smile, but it requires visible effort. Things are not quite favourable for the reluctant candidate. Azad makes no bones about the fact that he did not want to contest, but was forced to after the party denied nomination to his lieutenant, Choudhary Lal Singh, who remains...

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