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Posted at: Apr 19, 2019, 7:32 AM; last updated: Apr 19, 2019, 7:33 AM (IST)CAMPAIGN TRAIL: MOHAMMAD SADIQ | CONSTITUENCY: FARIDKOT

Mild-mannered Sadiq sways voters

Warns against ‘divisive’ forces, calls Captain his ‘guru’ in politics
Mild-mannered Sadiq sways voters
Residents of Daroli Bhai village weigh Mohammad Sadiq against ladoos during his election campaign on Thursday. Tribune photo

Kulwinder Sandhu

Tribune News Service

Daroli Bhai (Moga), April 18 

A cavalcade on Moga’s link road creates a flutter. Despite a two-hour delay, the locals, mostly Jat Sikhs and Dalits, rush to greet the guest with garlands.

 “I have served the people of Punjab as an artist and enthralled them as a singer, holding ‘akharas’ for the past five decades. I am seen as an honest politician,” says Mohammad Sadiq, the Congress candidate from Faridkot (reserve). His supporters weigh him against ladoos, which are distributed among those in the crowd.

Elected MLA from the Bhadaur constituency (2012 to 2017), Sadiq is mainly counting on his star-pull to emerge a winner. Born into a non-practising Muslim family, he belongs to the ‘Doom’ caste. Sadiq says he converted to Sikhism in 2006. “Sadiq Sahib is kind, gentle and honest. We have known him for decades. He is the best choice”, says Balbir Singh, an octogenarian who has enjoyed his songs for decades. 

His companion, Ranjit Kaur, who has recorded more than 1,000 songs with him, requests the voters:

“We have been with you for decades, holding akharas. Sadiq ji is an honest man who deserves to be elected to the Lok Sabha. Vote for him so that he can serve you by bringing in more development.”

As Sadiq moves forward to address nukkar sabhas, he gets a rapturous applause. He  begins with praising CM Capt Amarinder Singh, his ‘guru in politics’, and lashes out at the SAD-BJP leadership for its ‘divisive’ agenda. He dwells at length on the sacrilege issue and the police firing at Bargari, clearly  striking a chord with Sikh voters.

“Modi ji fumbled on demonetisation, GST and several other issues. He failed to raise the socio-economic status of farmers, provide jobs to the unemployed and check inflation. The best option before you is the Congress. Bring the party back to power at the Centre for new beginnings”, he tells the gathering, his manner modest, tone imploring. He steps down the dais and heads for another meeting. The youngsters, throng him for a ‘selfie’. He readily obliges.  

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