Campaign trail: A man of grassroots, SAD’s Anil Joshi prefers the common touch : The Tribune India

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Campaign trail: A man of grassroots, SAD’s Anil Joshi prefers the common touch

Campaign trail: A man of grassroots, SAD’s Anil Joshi prefers the common touch

SAD candidate Anil Joshi (Centre) during an election rally in Amritsar on Friday. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Neeraj Bagga

Amritsar, May 17

From the district president of radical Hindu outfit Bajrang Dal in 1988 to being the Shiromani Akali Dal’s candidate now from Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, Anil Joshi has come a long way, becoming a mascot of Hindu-Sikh unity in Punjab politics.

During his campaign trail that stretched over 18 hours, he caters to both urban and rural segments with ease. Residing in the posh area of Medical Enclave in holy city, Joshi is making the best use of his rural background by conveying to the rural populace that he is one among them. Born and brought up in Tarn Taran’s Sanghe village, the killing of his father Kishori Lal, a retired government teacher, by terrorists in 1991 made him abandon farming on the family’s agricultural land. He then moved to Tarn Taran city where he joined political outfits and established business with his brothers, Raja and Vijay. His both brothers are now campaigning for him. His family has interest in varied businesses like arhtiya (commission agents), rice mill and garments.

Joshi is up in the morning at 5 am for his visits to the rural pockets of the district. He is satisfied with a cup of tea and biscuits as part of his morning rituals, also carrying along two ‘paranthas’ to be eaten during the course of the day to meet his hunger pangs. Apart from his brothers, his wife Monika Joshi, their son Paras and his wife Japleen also play their role in convincing people to vote for the SAD candidate. All of them are using the three cars available with the family.

When asked about any special diet that he takes to meet the gruelling challenge of campaigning amid rising mercury and the heat and dust, he laughs it away, mentioning that as a youth who worked on his family farms, he consumed grains and vegetables grown on them. “We never bought milk from outside while staying in the village,” he says.

Like a seasoned politician, Joshi is quick to establish a rapport with people from a diverse background, taking care not to lose his grassroots touch for Joshi has enough experience at the hustings. He was elected an MLA from Amritsar North in 2007 and again in 2012. He lost to Sunil Dutti of Congress in 2017. During the 2012 Parkash Singh Badal government of SAD, he was made the Minister for Industry and Technical Education. Later, his portfolios were changed to Local Bodies and Medical Education.

Joshi’s day wraps up at about 12:30 pm with a meeting over the next day’s schedule. During his campaigning, he is using all modes, including door-to-door canvassing, small gatherings, meeting people from different sections of society, professions and various walks of life.

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#Lok Sabha #Shiromani Akali Dal #Sikhs


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