Lt Col (Retd) Gurprakash Singh Virk says,Everyone is speaking during elections. I thought I should try and communicate by remaining silent, says .
An independent candidate from Mohali in the forthcoming assembly polls,this silent crusader has decided not to campaign at all,at least not in the manner that is expected. He along with his wife and parents stay put in a tiny pandal in the Phase 3B2 market through the day. A simple blue and white hoarding on the pandal says: silent campaign. On the sides,hoardings announce independent.
I dont want to talk about myself. I want to listen to the voters, he points out. And true enough a drop box is kept on a table in the pandal where voters can come and drop slips containing suggestions. I have decided to stand for elections not because I am power hungry but because I want to give the voters an option. A non-political honest candidate whom they can vote for. The voters will not be in a position to say that they did not have an option beyond the three-four main party candidates, he adds.
But why no campaigning? I am disgusted at the manner in which votes are demanded by candidates. How can I ask someone to vote for me? I can only tell him what I stand for. Whom he votes for is his business, he explains.
Virk filled in his nomination papers on the first day of nominations. I am a law graduate and joined the army in 1977. I took pre-mature retirement in 1999. Since then I have been in Mohali but I felt I did not known much of it. I went around in Mohali for a week. It took me that time to understand the place, he says.
Reality sank in when I told people that I am a candidate in the forthcoming elections. I was in for a shock. The voters said if I am a candidate then why was I not distributing liquor. In one colony,they said where is the money?
He also chose his election symbol with care. Its a whistle. Its enough to communicate. On Republic Day I have asked all my supporters to come here and whistle their hearts out. We are going to awaken the voters by our whistling, says the lone ranger.
Virk is also probably the only candidate who has not spent more than Rs 1 lakh on campaigning. I have hired a van which goes around the constituency playing old patriotic songs. I have another jeep here which I have not used. Election Commission representatives have asked me many times why my account does not show any expenditure. Its because I am not spending any money, he points out.
And Virks manifesto says: Know the rule,follow the rule or change the rule,but follow it. Another major thought as Virk puts it is to turn Mohali from property eccentrics to people-centric and eco-friendly.