Mumbai: In a surprising and impressive scenario, for once it was difficult to realise that this was a frame straight out of Mumbai meri jaan! A 10,000-strong Rajasthani-Mumbai “voter crowd” greeted the “Gandhian” Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot during a jam-packed election meeting at Malabar Hill on Tuesday night. A natural Gehlot “ally” and the powerful Rajasthan AICC general Secretary Incharge Avinash Pande and his deputy for the entire poll process management, Rajasthan’s health and DPR minister, Dr Raghu Sharma, were also present on the dais.
Everyone who had gathered at the rally, including the local Congress candidates and a Gehlot aide Pukhraj Parashar, were also surprised at the massive public response to Gehlot.
In his address, Avinash Pande also termed Gehlot as a “Gandhian” Chief Minister and attributed the presence of the massive crowd to Gehlot’s popularity among the grassroots workers.
During his 15-minute speech, Pande carried frontal attacks on the autocratic style and functioning of Narendra Modi government ignoring all democratic norms.
Prior to Pande’s speech, a number of Maharashtra Congress leaders showered praises on the mastermind strategist Avinash Pande for his active and strategic contribution to Congress’s election planning and monitoring in Maharashtra. Looking at the number of speakers and the crowds’ “desire” to listen to Gehlot immediately, Dr Raghu Sharma opted out and requested Chief Minister Gehlot to takeover the microphone.
Later on in his final speech, Gehlot also made onslaughts on the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister.
Apart from his regular and routine criticism of the Prime Minister Modi, this time Gehlot brought a new theory against Modi by saying that during Modi’s US visit, Trump had rated Modi as “father of India”, Modi should have shown political magnanimity by publicly saying that “Only Mahatma Gandhi is known as the Father of India and no one else”.
During his 25-minute speech, at a number of times the crowd chanted slogans of “Gehlot Zindabad”.
Notably, the public meeting area is dominated by Rajasthani businessmen from Jalore, Pali and Sanchore areas in this Mumbai market.
Looking to the craze of Gehlot among Mumbai public, Dr Raghu Sharma remarked, “It looks as if Gehlot is addressing a public meeting in Jodhpur and not in Mumbai.” In fact, the response and enthusiasm of the public was so amazing that even Gehlot himself was amazed and surprised.