Wedding Photographer

Dhaba owner, teacher, housewife, farmer among the winners

Chandigarh: Among the early advisers of ‘City Beautiful’ is a dhaba owner, teacher, farmer and housewife, who has defeated many bigwigs of the ruling Bharatiya Janata (BJP) party as well as Congress, including the incumbent BJP mayor in the Chandigarh civic polls.

The climax of the election, in which the BJP fell from 80% of the seats it won in the 2016 civic polls to just 34% of the seats now, was the victory of Damanpreet Singh, a dhaba owner and now advisor of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for the first time.

He beat incumbent BJP mayor Ravi Kant Sharma with a solid 828 core-of-the-city margin in Sectors 22 and 23 (Ward 17).

He has been running a restaurant – Sardarji Da Dhaba – in Sector 22 market for over two years now.

Damanpreet Singh. Photo: Twitter / Damanpreet Singh.

Talk to Thread, he said: “For me, politics has never been my cup of tea. I was loosely associated with Congress simply because of my association with Chief Pradeep Chhabra who lives in my area, ”he said.

“I got agitated when the MC [municipal councillor] under BJP started targeting me with unnecessary ones challans just because I was a big supporter of the farmers’ movement in Delhi and helped the movement in my own way, ”Damanpreet said.

He said that in the market where his restaurant is located, there are many dhaba owners, but he alone was targeted during the movement of farmers with the challans of the sanitation service.

“That’s when I realize I’m going to have to fight the unjust system. When ChhabraI am I left Congress and joined the AAP, so I joined him. Later, the party regained confidence in me and it was then that I entered the electoral fray against the incumbent mayor of the BJP, ”he added.

“I kept my electoral plan simple, focused mainly on issues that the mayor of the BJP did not address despite representing the region as an adviser,” he said.

“My honest and clean approach is what made people vote for me and help me defeat the mayor of the BJP,” said Damanpreet, who is now hailed as a giant killer in the local AAP circle. .

Happy with the praise from all the top party leaders, he said, “I have to thank the AAP, who promoted ordinary people like me. I will now make sure that I live up to the expectations of the people in my parish.

Damapreet was also a wedding photographer until a few years ago. However, he had to open the dhaba for a living as he could not support himself as a wedding photographer after the COVID-19 outbreak.

The power of women

Neha Musavat, a teacher, is another AAP first-time advisor, who beat up another big guy, the former Congress Mayor Kamlesh, of the industrial zone and Ram Darbar (Ward number 19).

She said her uncle Dalip Kumar had been associated with AAP for many years.

“He sadly passed away from a prolonged illness in February of this year. I had no intention of getting into politics because I was happy to be a teacher, teaching students at a private school. But then the AAP leaders approached me and made me believe that there was a place for people like me in politics, ”she said.

Neha Musavat after her victory in the municipal elections in Chandigarh. Photo: Facebook.

“As a teacher, I have made a commitment to myself that, whether I win or lose, I will never compromise on my moral, ethical and professional values. “

Neha said: “I have never been afraid to fight a former mayor. I only pointed out the issues I was facing in my day to day life. I interacted with people and got to know the issues they were facing. This is how I think people connected with me.

She said that the total expenses for her entire campaign did not exceed Rs 2 lakh and that it was also funded by people. “I think people fought the election and made me win.”

One of the major factors in the AAP’s surprising victory in the Chandigarh civic polls was the power of women. Of the 14 seats won by the AAP, up to seven were women.

A total of 12 wards have been set aside for female candidates in the Chandigarh civic polls. Of that total, the BJP was able to win only two seats while Congress won three. The AAP captured the lion’s share with seven wins, and most of the winners were first-time contenders from mainstream backgrounds.

For example, Poonam, winner of constituency number 19 including sector 25 of Bhaskar settlement and neighboring regions, is a housewife and mother of two children.

Her husband is a dedicated AAP worker in the area. This is how the party gave him a ticket.

Suman, another housewife, won the Manimajra region AAP ticket (warning number 4) by beating the wife of BJP leader Savita Gupta.

She said she wouldn’t be a rubber stamp advisor. She would work in the field for the development of her parish.

AAP official in Chandigarh, Prem Garg, said Thread that while the candidates were selected after several rounds of internal party inquiries, the party made sure that all party candidates were sincere, honest and hardworking.

“It finally paid off. Voters in Chandigarh have long been unhappy with the BJP and Congress. Their poor governance has left the city in ruins. That’s why people voted for us, ”he added.

Another major upheaval for the ruling BJP in the elections was its poor performance in the seats reserved for candidates from Scheduled Castes (SC). Out of the seven theaters, the BJP could register a victory in just one seat.

“Chandigarh never focused on the villages”

Jasvir Singh Laddi. Photo: Facebook.

Another big killer of the election is AAP’s Jasvir Singh Laddi who beat ex-BJP mayor Davesh Moudgil. Laddi comes from a family of farmers in the village of Faidan near Sector 48.

He said that before the city was established there were small villages in and around it, and Faidan was one of them, where his family has long been associated with agriculture.

“But the problem with Chandigarh is that he never focused on the villages and their development. There are families of several farmers who had not yet been fully compensated for their land acquired to build this city, ”Laddi said.

“Even today my village does not have a running water supply. The roads are in terrible shape. The councilors who represented my village did little to improve people’s lives, ”he said.

He said his victory over the ex-mayor of the BJP was a reflection of the people’s anger against the traditional parties and their failure to improve civilian infrastructure in the villages.

“I have no experience in politics. I fought an election for the first time now. Drawing great inspiration from the farmers’ movement, I ensured that my positive campaign and honest approach won me the election, ”Laddi said.

He said his main goal now is to ensure that villages in the city have adequate infrastructure.

“Chandigarh is famous as the country’s first planned city. But the state of its villages is also worse than any other city. Chandigarh owes a lot to the villages on which the city was born. Therefore, it is important that the villages are developed to the same level as the facilities of the sectors, ”Laddi said.