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Jiwan Singh Sanghowal: A typist who defeated two retired IAS officers in Ludhiana’s Gill

Sanghowal is among the founding members of AAP in Punjab, who joined the party a few months after its foundation in 2012.

Sanghowal during a visit to his school, 41 years later.

Once a typist who used to sit at his kiosk and type out notices for bread and butter outside Ludhiana’s old district courts, Jiwan Singh Sanghowal (58) defeated two former bureaucrats from Gill, the largest assembly constituency in Ludhiana district with 2.68 lakh voters, in Punjab assembly polls earlier this year. With matric and a diploma in typewriting as his qualification, Sanghowal defeated Kuldip Singh Vaid (Congress) and Sucha Ram Ladhar (BJP), both retired IAS officers, with over 92,000 votes polled in his favor.

Earlier, he had contested the assembly elections from Gill in 2017 but was defeated by Congress’s Vaid.

Sanghowal is among the founding members of AAP in Punjab, who joined the party a few months after its foundation in 2012.

“Working at the courts made me meet people who did not have even Rs 10 in their pockets to get their notices typed but they still had hope for justice, and were fighting a legal battle. That’s when I realised people need someone whom they can see as hope. It also made me realise how deeply corruption is rooted in our system. People are openly looted even while buying stamp papers and stationary. That shook me and I joined AAP,” he says.

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A day in life: Sanghowal says earlier he used to work as a typist and spend his entire day at his kiosk. “But after becoming an MLA, I spend my day serving people and listening to their grievances from the sunrise to much after sunset. I do this because that’s what I promised them while asking for their votes. I also try to spare an hour for a walk and workout,” he says.

Work accomplished: The MLA from Gill says the AAP government has already fulfilled its major pre-poll guarantee of zero power bills for using 300 units per month.

Work in progress: Aam Aadmi clinics will soon be opened in 10-15 villages of Gill constituency. I have also initiated work to make playgrounds in villages where land is available or is lying vacant.

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Challenges: “My biggest challenge is the unfinished work of the previous government. There are so many projects that have been abandoned midway. In many villages of Gill, roads and sewage are still in poor condition.”

Controversies: In February 2017, after the voting for Punjab assembly polls had concluded, Sanghowal had kept Ludhiana administration on their toes as he alleged that a group of 7-8 persons had “trespassed” into the strong room at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) where the EVMs from Gill constituency were kept. He had then deputed his own team of AAP volunteers as security guards outside the strong room, a practice later followed by other candidates too.

Claim to fame: Won polls defeating two retd IAS officers

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By the way: Despite being elected an MLA, he has not shut his typing shop and now his son takes care of it

First published on: 27-09-2022 at 06:40 IST
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