‘Star-studded’ election campaign dazzles voters in Punjab's Faridkot : The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

‘Star-studded’ election campaign dazzles voters in Punjab's Faridkot

‘Star-studded’ election campaign dazzles voters in Punjab's Faridkot

Karamjit Anmol (R) & Gurmeet Sajjan and Hans Raj Hans



Tribune News Service

Ruchika M Khanna

Faridkot, May 22

The duo of Aam Aadmi Party’s Faridkot candidate and famous Punjabi actor Karamjit Singh Anmol and the former “Raj Gayak” of Punjab and BJP candidate Hans Raj Hans, is bringing some stardust to sweltering hot Faridkot, which is sizzling at 44°C.

While the former has the support of the bigwigs of Punjabi film industry, the latter is backed by strong cadres of his party. Anmol has been running a concerted campaign, elaborating the vision of his “close friend”, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to make Punjab ‘Rangla Punjab’, Hans explains how a “double BJP engine is what Punjab needs to get back on the growth trajectory”, amid a group of farmers from different unions, continuously harassing him by refusing to allow him to campaign.

From famous Punjabi actors — Binnu Dhillon, Gippy Grewal, Mandy Takhar and Gurmeet Sajjan to BJP and RSS loyalists from neighbouring Haryana and Rajasthan — all have converged here to campaign for the two “stars”, in an effort to better their chances at the hustings.

No wonder that the presence of these stars has brought a sense of joie de vivre amongst the residents. At the main bazar in Kotkapura town, amid the shops that sell beautifully handcrafted khundas and offer “chai sutta” at a bar, 25-year-old Amrik Singh says with the two parties fielding “stars”, the election has brought in some novelty for residents. Such is the enchantment that these stars that have become the talking point, rather than the posters of Bhindranwale that line most poles on central verges and aprons of roads, reminding people of the 40th Blue Star anniversary.

Ever since Karamjit Anmol’s candidature was announced by AAP from this constituency, it has had a plethora of “Pollywood” stars, including the homegrown star, Prince Kanwaldeep, who is the new flavour of the Punjabi film industry, canvassing for Anmol.

“We are all his personal friends, who have been helped by Anmol in one way or the other. We are standing with him now,” comedian Gurmeet Sajjan told The Tribune, after he had campaigned for Anmol in the Nihal Singh Wala Assembly segment.

Once the stage is set and the crowds have seemingly been swayed, Anmol makes his appearance with the local MLA Manjit Singh Bilaspur in toe. He talks of the need for clean environment at the “Pavitar dharti of Baba Farid”, need to set up youth clubs that engage youth in activities to wean them off drugs and asks people not to be divided along political lines. He promises voters to bring food processing industry here and takes a subtle jibe at the Akali Dal, by saying what they could not do for Faridkot, “we will do”. Before signing off for the next meeting, he allows several spectators to get selfies clicked with him.

On the other hand, Hans Raj Hans, dressed in pristine white kurta pyjama and sporting a white turban with a saafa, often regales the audience with his mellifluous voice, singing a song that equates his love for the country with the love Ranjha had for his Heer. He sings Sufi songs, telling voters how he is a follower of Sufi saint Baba Farid, after whom the constituency is named.

“Everywhere I go, this group of persons, who call themselves farmers, follow me. Last night, I went to Kotha Guru, Baba Haridas Dera. I saw this group there, raising slogans against me. I told them, I was not there to seek votes, but for my own ruhani anand. The way they behave, it seems in the whole of Punjab they only have to oppose Hans Raj Hans,” he told The Tribune. “Kahin haath jode, kahin sar kadmon mein rakha, but to no avail. It seems that a regional party fears BJP making inroads in Malwa region, and they are sponsoring these protests,” he said.

In the midst of the “starry din”, Congress candidate Amarjit Kaur Sahoke and Akali Dal candidate Rajwinder Singh, continue with their campaign, quietly with a motley of their supporters and party leaders. Sarabjit Singh Khalsa, son of Indira Gandhi’s assassin, Beant Singh, too, is getting a lot of traction in the constituency.

Joie de vivre for residents

The presence of AAP candidate and Punjabi actor Karamjit Anmol and BJP’s Hans Raj Hans brought a sense of joie de vivre among residents. At the main bazar in Kotkapura town, amid the shops that sell handcrafted khundas and offer “chai sutta” at a bar, 25-year-old Amrik Singh says with the two parties fielding “stars”, the election has brought in some novelty for residents.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Aam Aadmi Party AAP #BJP #Faridkot #Hans Raj Hans


Top News

India, Bangladesh ink pact to boost ties in maritime sphere, blue economy

India, Bangladesh ink pact to boost ties in maritime sphere, blue economy

Pacts finalised at wide-ranging talks between PM Modi and hi...

Anti-paper leak law for exams comes into effect amid NEET, UGC-NET row; jail term, fine upto Rs 10 lakh

Anti-paper leak law for exams comes into effect amid NEET, UGC-NET row; jail term, fine upto Rs 10 lakh

This comes amid the massive row over the alleged malpractice...

Violence breaks out in Jodhpur over construction of shops in Idgah; 40 detained

Violence breaks out in Jodhpur over construction of shops in Idgah; 40 detained

A huge police force was deployed on Saturday to avert any un...

Government trying to do 'damage control': Congress on implementation of law to curb exam irregularities

Government trying to do 'damage control': Congress on implementation of law to curb exam irregularities

Jairam Ramesh says 'the Bill received the President's assent...


Cities

View All