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As Moosewala becomes Congress theme song in Sangrur bypoll, AAP gets jittery

The song takes a swipe at the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s “Ek mauka (one chance)” slogan that the party used successfully in its campaign for the Assembly polls that the party swept.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana |
Updated: June 15, 2022 3:27:01 pm
PPCC president Amarinder Singh Raja Warring campaigning for his party candidate Dalvir Singh Goldy Khangura in Sangrur villages on Tuesday. (Express photo)

On June 5, the Congress declared Dalvir Singh Goldy as its candidate for the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat bypoll scheduled for June 23. Goldy, however, formally launched his election campaign only after the “bhog” of Sidhu Moosewala, which took place on June 8.

The singer-turned-politician Moosewala was shot dead on May 29 evening near Jawaharke village of Punjab’s Mansa district. In the Punjab Assembly elections held over three months ago, Moosewala had contested, unsuccessfully, from the Mansa constituency on the Congress ticket.

On June 9, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president, Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, kicked off the party’s Sangrur bypoll campaign after observing 2 minutes of silence in the memory of the slain singer.

On June 12, the Congress released a campaign video song, titled “Ek mauka piya bhari es vaar deo apne Goldy nu jimmevari (one chance has cost us dear, this time give responsibility to our Goldy)”, in the constituency, which shows Moosewala’s dead body and even the memorial site where he was cremated.

The song takes a swipe at the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s “Ek mauka (one chance)” slogan that the party used successfully in its campaign for the Assembly polls that the party swept.

The song’s opening lines say, “Socho partibazi tau utte utth ke, Dilli leje na Punjab sada lutt ke, putt murhe na jihna de puchho us maa nu, assi chatna ki aise badlaa nu (think above party lines so as to prevent Delhi from looting Punjab, ask that mother whose son never returned… do we need this kind of change?)

As the song moves on to next lines, Moosewala’s body dressed like a groom is shown along with the spot where he was cremated, where a garlanded picture of the singer has been placed.

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In their speeches at various campaign rallies, the Congress leaders keep making references to Moosewala’s killing. In his speech at a rally in Sangrur’s Panwa village, Warring said Moosewala had been facing a threat but despite that the Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government pruned his security that eventually, he charged, led to his murder. “Sixty-two murder cases have been reported during the 82 days of the AAP government so far, what kind of ‘badlaav’ (change) is this?” he asked.

The Sangrur bypoll has been necessitated by the resignation of the incumbent AAP MP Mann after he became the Chief Minister in March. An AAP stronghold, the Sangrur parliamentary constituency has nine Assembly segments, which are not far from Mansa, Moosewala’s home district.

The Congress party’s campaign pitch centred around Moosewala and his killing seems to have ruffled the AAP’s feathers. Hitting back, the AAP candidate in the Sangrur fray, Gurmel Singh, said, “Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Raja Warring is politicising the unfortunate death of popular Punjabi singer Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, better known as Sidhu Moosewala.”

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Congress candidate Dalvir Singh Goldy after paying respects at his native village gurdwara Sidhsar Sahib in Dhuri constituency of Sangrur district. (Express Photo)

Gurmel charged that the principal Opposition Congress has been “misusing” the name of Moosewala in each of their campaign events, even as he highlighted the point that on June 13 evening, Moosewala’s family, through their social media accounts, made an appeal that no political party should use Moosewala’s name for any political purpose.

“Disregarding the appeal of grieving parents of Sidhu Moosewala over using his name, Raja Warring in a public meeting on Tuesday again attempted to get sympathy votes on his death. It is very disheartening and condemnable,” Gurmel said, asking the Congress to “stop playing dirty politics over the slain singer’s death”.

Seeking to downplay the AAP’s objections, PPCC general secretary Capt Sandeep Sandhu, said, ”We respect the sentiments of the Moosewala family.”

Meawhile, campaigning for the Congress candidate in Sangrur’s villages, Warring told the gatherings: “Sangrur people are very inquilabi (revolutionary) but very simple as well… In 2022 polls, your then MLA (from Sangrur Assembly segment) Vijay Inder Singla did so many works for you and still you chose the AAP’s first-time candidate over him there… As you had voted silently for AAP in the Assembly polls, so similarly vote silently for the Congress this time and make them (AAP dispensation) learn lesson or they will not perform and will not fulfil their poll promises.”

Significantly, economist Dr SS Johl had earlier said that Moosewala’s father Balkaur Singh should be elected unopposed from the Sangrur parliamentary constituency in the bypoll as a tribute to the late singer. Warring had endorsed this proposal. However, Balkaur himself asserted then that he was not willing to contest any poll now.

Defending the Congress campaign’s focus on Moosewala, Warring said, “We have lost a promising international star in such a brutal way and that too after the AAP government withdrew his security and you expect us to keep quiet.” Taking a swipe at the AAP government, he also asked, “Why are people getting defensive about it?”

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Going after the AAP for deputing six ministers for the Sangrur by-election, Warring claimed that “Even if they depute all their ministers besides two Chief Ministers, Bhagwant Mann and Arvind Kejriwal, they would still face worst-ever defeat here. They may need to depute the entire cabinet… and still they will not win.”

Moosewala however figures in the speeches of even the SAD (Amritsar) candidate for the Sangrur bypoll, Simranjit Singh Man, during his campaign. Mann had even claimed earlier that Moosewala had spoken to him a day before he died.

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He has drawn criticism from the SAD (Badal)’s president Sukhbir Singh Badal, who said, “It is unfortunate that SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann is politicising the brutal murder of Sidhu Moosewala along with the Congress party. This has hurt the sentiments of the victim’s family. Everyone should desist from such conduct.”

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First published on: 15-06-2022 at 03:15:13 pm

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