Raghav Chadha is at ease handling large crowds at his rallies. It is his Internet feedback that has left the Aam Aadmi Party candidate for South Delhi blushing.
At least a dozen women find the chartered accountant-turned-politician more “adorable” than “aam” (common), enough to flood his mail with marriage proposals, says Chadha’s campaign team.
The proposals came in over the last eight months, apart from the direct messages or comments on Instagram and Facebook.
“Once we actually responded to a fan mail saying ‘thank you, hope you will vote for him’. But then we started getting video calls on Instagram from her. We had to finally disable the video call feature. Now we stick to the generic response,” AAP South Delhi media coordinator Konpal Patni told The Telegraph.
“He just doesn’t react when we tell him that we are getting such messages.”
All romantic proposals for Chadha are now met with an auto-response: “Please give a missed call to this number to join the AAP campaign.”
Chadha, 30, confirmed that his campaign team doesn’t tell him about these messages, except if they are particularly mushy. The AAP leader is tight-lipped about his private life — a guarded silence that also helps retain his “eligible bachelor” status for fans.
In previous campaigns, particularly when the AAP’s student wing Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti debuted in the Delhi University students’ union polls in 2015, Chadha drew higher numbers of young women to his rallies than other campaigners.
Asked about his appeal, he spoke about his campaign strategy instead. “Yes, several women come for our rallies. I tell men, think about your wife, daughter or mother when you vote, and ask themselves if they are better off or safer with (the BJP’s) Ramesh Bidhuri as (incumbent) MP,” Chadha told this paper.
“We are not trying to get the vote of any particular community. A much larger vote bank than any caste is women, who can vote en masse if you shape the right narrative.”
The AAP’s work in reducing water and power tariffs and amenities to slums are Chadha’s pitch to women in his rallies. He says, he hopes to create a women’s vote bank the way Nitish Kumar has by providing bicycles to schoolgirls.
Chadha is part of the party’s political affairs committee and has been involved with Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal since 2012 when he contributed to drafting the Jan Lokpal bill. He has also served as the party’s treasurer and was briefly adviser to Delhi finance minister Manish Sisodia. Before being made in charge of South Delhi, last year, he dealt mainly with the legal cases the party is involved in, as well as talks with other parties such as the Trinamul Congress.