Updated: March 16, 2022 10:15:27 pm
As Bhagwant Mann took oath as the 18th chief minister of Punjab at Kahtar Kalan, the ancestral village of Shaheed Bhagat Singh in Nawanshahr, sitting among thousands of supporters, in a sea of basanti, was a beaming Mohammad Sadiq, the Congress MP from Faridkot.
On two sides of the political divide, Sadiq and Mann share a common thread — both are artiste-turned-politicians. While Mann has had a successful stint as a stand-up comic and an actor, the Congress leader is a renowned Punjabi singer.
The glee on Sadiq’s face as the Aam Aadmi Party leader got up take oath.
“We have known each other since 1991 when Mann performed his stand up act for the f irst time from my stage in Chandigarh,” the Congress MP said, adding Mann respects him “like ustad (master)”.
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“I may be from the Congress party, but I have come here to give my best wishes to the AAP leader. Mann’s success is the success of entire Punjab,” he added.
Sadiq only had praise for his artiste friend. “He is a wonderful person, an honest thinking man and always ready to help the needy. He is hardworking and I hope he will do good for the state,” the Congress MP said, adding the Mann had extended an invitation to him to attend the swearing in ceremony. “I would have come here even if he hadn’t invited me,” said Sadiq.
Several other artistes, including singer Gurdas Mann, Amar Noori, Veenu Dhillon, and Manmohan Waris attended the function.
Later in the day, several leaders from Punjab, cutting across party lines congratulated Mann on being sworn-in as the CM.
Former minister and Gidderbaha Congress MLA Amarinder Singh Raja Warring in a tweet said: “I hope you live up to the expectations of the people of Punjab”.
Former finance minister and Congress leader Manpreet Singh Badal also greeted on becoming CM of Punjab.
Congress MP from Patiala Preneet Kaur said, “I hope you will work hard for the holistic development of Punjab and repay the faith shown in your party by the people of Punjab”.
BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa tweeted, “I congratulate @BhagwantMann on taking oath as CM of Punjab. I hope they fulfill the promises made to Punjab and Punjabis that got them this mandate,” said Sirsa.
Lok Insaaf Party leader Simarjeet Singh Bains also congratulated Mann and hoped that he would fulfil promises made to people.
Two songs on a loop
As the crowd of supporters swelled at Khatkar Kalan, waiting for Bhagwant Mann to arrive for his oaty taking ceremony, the organisers kept playing two songs on loop— ‘Rang be Basati chola’, and “Tere yaar nu daban nu firde see par dabda kithe aa (They wanted to suppress me, but could not do so)”.
‘Rang de basanti’ is attributed to have been written by freedom fighter Ram Prasad Bismil and his friends, but it is said that the song was sung by the prisoners when Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, who raised Inqlab Zindabad slogans, had attained martyrdom.
The other song was got composed by former president of Nawanwahshar municipal council Lalit Mohan Pathak (Ballu), whom the Congress had denied ticket for the local body elections in 2021 allegedly at the instance of the then party MLA Angad Saini. Pathak turned a rebel and contested the election as an Independent winning by the highest margin of 997 votes. Pathak had used the song for campaigning. He joined the AAP ahead of 2022 elections. The song later caught fancy of several AAP candidates during the recently held Assembly elections and was played almost in every party road show and function.
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