The broom first dislodged with ease the much-cherished stethoscope from the young hands of Dr Amarjit Singh Thind. Now, the ordinary broom, the poll symbol of the rookie Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), is trying to boom in Shahkot when Punjab votes on February 4. But the task before the 34-year-old MBBS doctor, who has shed his white coat for a white kurta-pyjama, to uproot the powerful rivals with organisational muscle is extraordinary. His prime foe in the fray is transport minister Ajit Singh Kohar of the Akali Dal, who is eyeing a fifth consecutive victory and Congress’ fresh face Hardev Singh Laddi. Both the Akali Dal and the Congress have their own pockets of influence, while the green-horn doctor and AAP’s debutant is attempting to get ‘toe-hold’ by banking on “anti-Kohar sentiment” and “parcha-raaj” (booking dissenters) that is visible in the constituency. In 2012 assembly election, Kohar, now 76, was polled 55,875 votes, defeating Col CD Singh Kamboj (retd) of the Congress by 5,435 votes. The segment with 230 villages is a mix of semi-urban and rural voters–over 35,000 Kamboj Sikh, over 40,000 Jat Sikhs, about 30,000 Balmikis and about 17,000 Rai Sikh among the 1.70-lakh voters.
AAP candidate Dr Amarjit Singh Thind
- Deepak Kamboj
- Jan 22nd, 2017
- 657 Views
The key strength of AAP here lies in some disgruntled Congress and Akali Dal foot-soldiers adopting the broom. While studying at Dasmesh Academy, Anandpur Sahib, the energetic Thind aspired to become a hockey player. But it was not to be. The destiny willed otherwise.