Suyash Gabriel & Kartik Kumar
Even as AAP candidate from West Delhi Jarnail Singh prepares to take on Pravesh Verma of the BJP and the yet-to-be-declared Congress candidate, his main issue is turning out to be his name rather than his rivals.
For Tilak Nagar plays host to two Jarnail Singhs and that too from the same party. One is AAP MLA Jarnail Singh, while the other is the journalist-turned AAP leader who made headlines after he threw a shoe at Union Minister P Chidambaram during a press conference in 2009 to protest against the clean chit given by the CBI to Congress leader HKL Bhagat in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and a Congress ticket to Sajjan Kumar.
While the shoe-thrower is the LS candidate, voters in the area seem to identify the AAP MLA as the “true” Jarnail Singh.
From autorickshaw drivers to shopkeepers and residents, all seem to associate the name Jarnail Singh with the MLA. They are unaware of a second Jarnail Singh.
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Even those who admitted knowing two AAP leaders with the same name presumed that he was contesting from another constituency.
Yatin Lal, a business consultant, said, “There is one AAP office here of Jarnail Singh — the MLA of Tilak Nagar. I am not aware of any other AAP office in the area or any other person with that name. I think you are mistaken.”
Devansh Singh, a shopkeeper near Tilak Nagar Metro station, said, “I know only one Jarnail Singh. He won the Assembly elections.
There is no other Jarnail Singh in this area. Ask someone else. Maybe they know.”
MLA Jarnail Singh said the confusion has been on ever since the AAP’s Delhi list was declared. “People confuse me with my namesake. Even the media use my pictures in their reports instead of his. I have a permanent office here, so people associate the name Jarnail Singh with me.”
Asked about the confusion, LS candidate Jarnail Singh said campaigning would take care of it. “This is not of much concern. We haven’t started a full-fledged campaign yet. Once we start going door-to-door and holding rallies, whatever little confusion is there will be settled. Only outsiders would not be able to recognise me. There are 10 assemblies in West Delhi constituency. Once I’ve visited all, the confusion will end.”
(The reporters are students of EXIMS, Delhi)
Two more Jarnail Singhs
Incidentally, there are two more ‘Jarnail Singh’ who have filed nominations from West Delhi as Independent candidates. They are a 59-year-old businessman residing in Sant Ghar, MBS Nagar, and a 44-year-old businessman residing in DDA Colony, Chaukhandi. ENS