The soaring temperature failed to dampen the mood as crowds in Dakha and Gill constituencies in Ludhiana were treated to comedian-turned-politician Bhagwant Mann at his best as he took on both the Akali Dal and the Congress. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate from Sangrur was campaigning for his party colleague H S Phoolka, who is in the fray at Ludhiana, on Wednesday.
Hukumat karne walo tum kya jaano, yun to murge ke sar pe bhi taaj hota hai, Mann said amidst laughter all around. There were students, farmers, teachers and people from different age groups —all out to get a glimpse of the comedian. While some were AAP supporters, others seemed to have just gathered to enjoy the humour.
Mann particularly singled out the Badals for special treatment. “I have heard that after water tanks and ambulances, the Badals are going to distribute utensils with their photos. Now imagine, a patila will have Badal’s photo while a gadvi will have a photo of Harsimrat Badal. You guess on which utensil Sukhbir’s photo will appear — a dolu of course while Majithia’s will be on a chamcha (spoon),” Mann said.
In an instant, however, he switched to a more serious tone. “Youth with degrees do not get jobs. Jobs are given to families of rape and murder victims to keep their mouths shut. Instead of giving them justice, Akali ministers come to the last rites with jobs in hand for families of victims. They do not offer justice but jobs. Now is this the government you want,” Mann screamed as the laughter turned into pin-drop silence. He cited the example of Sarbjit Singh (who died in a Pakistani jail) and said that ‘instead of delivering justice, Akalis believe in showering jobs to suppress victim’s families.’
The serious side didn’t last for long as he was back to his best. “Koun likhda sachhi gurbani, je nanak hatti pai lainde. (I am not here to be an MP to get famous as I am already famous enough),” he said.
The AAP leader also targeted BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and said that ‘chaiwallahs’ do not have helicopters in background.
“Akalis came to me and offered red beacon vehicles and even cash,” he alleged before going on to taunt Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, who left SAD and then joined it back. “I am not like him. Earlier he used to say Badal varga koi ganda nahi and now he says Badal varga koi banda nai and now I say Ramoowalia, tere varga koi dhanda nahi,” Mann said.