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India

Punjab AAP MLAs A Motley Group, Unknown Faces Fail To Recognise Their Colleagues

Media personnel & selfie seekers did a google search of their pics & names before interviewing them.

Punjab CM designate Bhagwant Mann addresses the AAP Legislative Party meeting in presence of AAP Punjab affairs co-in-charge Raghav Chadha and others, in Mohali on Friday. (ANI Photo)

Chandigarh: The 92 newly elected MLAs of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) elected Bhagwant Mann their legislative party leader during a meeting at the Radisson hotel in Mohali on Friday. Most of them were first-time MLAs and nobody knew anybody but everybody was a somebody among the white kurta-pyjama wearing crowd.

Jeevan Jyot Kaur, who decimated Congress’s Navjot Singh Sidhu and Shiromani Akali Dal’s Bikram Singh Majithia from Amritsar (East) Assembly seat, was one of the first to arrive at the venue. After a quick google search of her picture, about a dozen media personnel queued to take her interview. Jeevan Jyot is also known as the pad woman.

She was followed by another giant slayer Labh Singh Ugoke. The 33-year-old Ugoke, the son of a sanitation worker, made Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi bite the dust from Bhaduar. A lean-looking man, accompanied by a couple of teenage boys completely in awe of the environs of a five-star hotel, Ugoke trudged towards the hotel entrance.

The boys accompanying Ugoke, too, had a spring in their steps. When some AAP MLAs who didn’t have the privilege of defeating some khaas aadmi (big names) realised that the man in the yellow turban was Ugoke, they introduced themselves. One of them said, “Channi must be having nightmares about you in his dreams.” Ugoke humbly replied, “What are you saying ji? He wouldn’t even be able to recognise me. There were no posters of me in the entire campaign,” he tried to sound serious.

Jagdeep Kamboj alias Goldy is a strong-looking tall man. Apart from his brother and a friend, he was alone at the Radisson entrance.

“Where is the guy who defeated Sukhbir Singh Badal?” a Delhi-based journalist asked a local journalist. Immediately, on seeing a finger being pointed at a tall man in white kurta-pyjama, he made a dash to reach him. Within a second, a dozen more mics were at his mouth.

Kamboj grew vengeful against Sukhbir Singh Badal after he was beaten up by the police at Jalalabad. He was protesting against the then deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal when he was thrashed. “I remembered that day. My legs were broken. My wedding reception was to take place but I had to postpone it as I couldn’t stand on my feet. I decided to teach Badal a lesson at his game. Look where he is now and where I am,” Goldie said.

Gurmeet Singh Khudian, the man who defeated the grand old man of Punjab politics Parkash Singh Badal in his own bastion, was nothing more than a district Congress committee president of Muktsar. After being ignored by Congress, he joined AAP in 2021. “Kejriwalji asked me – Khudian saab, where would you like to fight from? I said, I have always fought from Lambi and that is where I will fight from.”

When the younger lot of the AAP MLAs saw Khudian at the Radisson for the first time they knew his feat and some of them touched his feet. “Khudian saab ne sab to vadda jhataka ditta e Badalaan nu (Khudian saab has given the biggest shock to the Badals),” stated a MLA.

Dr Charanjit Singh who won from Chakaur Sahib was among the last to reach Radisson. While he was obscured in the crowd at Radisson, during the campaign chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s supporters thought of him as a lightweight. “Back at Chamkaur Sahib there are more people at his hospital than at Channi’s residence. That explains his victory,” said one of his supporters who accompanied him to Radisson.

Later, when a local journalist was interviewing another giant slayer Jagroop Singh Gill who won from Lehra, another journalist asked, “Who is he?” The response, “He has defeated finance minister Manpreet Badal by a margin of 63,000 votes.” Within a jiffy, a dozen journalists, camerapersons, and selfie-seekers queued up to the left and right of this giant slayer.

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