In Lok Sabha constituency of Patiala in Pandtan village, one person became the voice of many. Thirty-one-year-old Manjit Singh is a factory worker and an AAP campaigner.
Manjit Singh was an agent in Shiromani Akali Dal for Harpreet Kaur Mukhmailpur, Ghanaur MLA. He heard AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal on TV in 2013.
Presently, he is one of the 23,000 booth in-charges of AAP in Punjab.
“He (Kejriwal) appealed to my mind. He spoke about a corruption-free system. I found myself thinking about him and his speeches for a long time that night. I heard him several times after that day. When I learnt that the AAP would contest from Punjab in the Lok Sabha elections (2014), I thought Kejriwal’s ideology, which sounded utopian, could be realised. I started helping the AAP.” Manjit recalls.
Manjit was joined by many supporters during his campaign for Dr Dharamvira Gandhi. She was contesting against Preneet Kaur, three-time MP and wife of Captian Amarinder Singh in Patiala.
He added that people of his village used to vote for Preneet Kaur but now they voted for Gandhi this time. Gandhi got 450 votes out of total 650.
“We will vote for AAP in the assembly elections, too,” confirms Manjit, who has a battery of volunteers comprising eight youths — all students, aged between 16 and 21 years, and residents of nearby Ajraur village — helping him gather support for his party.
Manjit is supposed to keep the support base intact and informing party members about any upcoming programme, rally, dharna and dialogue session. After finishing his factory day job .He quickly begins sending any message or information there may be among the members on WhatsApp.
He added that AAP is his hope and for people who are waiting for a political change in Punjab.
“You take the instance of government schools. They have the best teachers. But nobody teaches the students. We have to pay huge amount of money to get our children educated in private schools. It is very frustrating. But what can we do? Who will change the system?” he says
Manjit replied when he was asked what if AAP is unable to deliver the promises made. He said that they will give party five years. If they are not able to deliver what they promised from next time they will not vote for the party.
Gurmukh Singh, a photographer and also the general secretary of AAP’s SC/ST wing. He got promoted quickly from a coordinator of halqa (area) into a zonal in-charge.
“My good work got me promoted in the party quickly,” he says.
Gurmukh is tasked to work as per the party instructions and make sure that the volunteers and members from his area attend AAP’s programme.
“I am now making arrangements for a discourse on issues concerning the Dalit community. We have so many enthusiastic volunteers they jump on buses or on their bikes to reach the venue.”
Gurmukh met Kejriwal twice in Delhi and twice during his Punjab visit. Gurmukh wants Chief Minister from Aam aadmi. He says his aim now is to make sure that nominee from AAP gets more votes than what Dr Gandhi.