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Punjab

Posted at: Apr 19, 2019, 7:32 AM; last updated: Apr 19, 2019, 11:00 AM (IST)

Tewari banks on oratory skills for quick connect, says no seat Panthic

Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service 
Nawanshahr, April 18

With just a month left for establishing himself in the new constituency of Anandpur Sahib as the Congress candidate for the Lok Sabha elections, former Union Minister and party spokesperson Manish Tewari (53) is using his oratory skills to build a quick connect with the masses.

As he went around building contacts with people on his first visit to Nawanshahr district today, he began his speech saying: “I am blessed to have got a chance to contest from this Guruan di dharti (land of gurus).” He tells them that he had come to them today after having paid obeisance at the memorial of Bhagat Singh at Khatkar Kalan earlier in the day. 

Tewari calls himself as their new ‘sewak’. He gives a rather long introduction: “I may be new for you all but my family has been serving Punjab for the past over several decades. My maternal grandfather Tirath Singh Gurm (a Jat Sikh) was a part of Praja Mandal Lehar and fought for the freedom of this country. From 1952 to 1971, he represented Mehal Kalan and Dhuri. My father was a professor of Punjabi at Panjab University and wrote about 40 books. In 1984, he was killed by the terrorists in Chandigarh. My mom, who passed away last year, retired as PGI Director. I have been serving you through the Congress for the past over 35 years.”

He then tells the gathering: “Since my rivals are dubbing me as an outsider, I wanted you to know my detailed background.” Wary of the fact that he is also being termed as a ‘deserter’ for having chosen not to re-contest from Ludhiana, he tells his voters that he became unwell in 2014 and had to relent. “I am sure all of you must be having their contacts in Ludhiana. Please do ask them about my performance. I promise you that I will put in my double effort here” as he tries to build in confidence.

Being a Hindu and fielded from a Panthic seat, he retorts: “It is my conviction from my experience that every seat in Punjab is a Punjabi seat. There is no seat which is a Hindu or a Sikh seat. Our state has a composite culture. Dividing it like that will be the biggest disservice to Punjab. So, I don’t buy that logic”.

Going further, Tewari tells them: “I will try to cover maximum area, but it is a long constituency stretching from Banga to Mohali. I may not be able to visit all your villages. But do join me on April 29 at Ropar for filing of my papers and giving me strength.” 

In the end, he also hits out at his SAD rival Prem Singh Chandumajra telling people that he had been told that the SAD MP could not even provide facilities at the pious village like Khatkar Kalan, which he adopted.

He ends his 20-minute speech repeatedly thanking local MLA Angad Saini calling him his ‘chhota veer’ (younger brother). He then invites all leaders to click selfies with him, ensuring that he obliges the last person coming to him. 


It is my conviction from my experience that every seat in Punjab is a Punjabi seat. There is no seat which is a Hindu or a Sikh seat. Our state has a composite culture. Dividing it like that will be the biggest disservice to Punjab. So, I don’t buy that logic. — Manish Tewari, Congress candidate from Anandpur Sahib

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