Deepak Bansal, AAP's urban face in Bathinda for Punjab elections | assembly-elections$punjab-2017 | Hindustan Times
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Deepak Bansal, AAP's urban face in Bathinda for Punjab elections

assembly elections Updated: Jan 16, 2017 14:57 IST
Prabhjit Singh

Deepak Bansal(Sanjeev Kumar/HT Photo)

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Deepak Bansal's spectacles describe his persona — a studious youngster whose dreams to crack the UPSC were dashed in two attempts. He then accompanied the party cadres to Banaras for his "ideal" Arvind Kejriwal's campaigning in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He caught the attention of party brass and was rewarded with the ticket.

His sober, ordinary physique could be taken as his USP to win over the town's middle-class voters. On mentioning this to him, he was all smiles, finding pride in saying "I am the son of an ordinary employee of NFL (National Fertilizers Ltd) and we lived in a two-room government accommodation". He had been working with a private bank before giving his full time to politics about a year back.

  • Name: Deepak Bansal
  • Age: 33
  • Party: Aam Aadmi Party
  • Education: BCom, MBA  
  • Role model:  APJ Abdul Kalam
  • Poll quotient: Mainly banking on the AAP's popularity clubbed with SAD-BJP anti-incumbency; rapport with the middle-class
  • By the way:  Doesn’t miss his early-morning jogging come what may

Casually dressed, Deepak's campaign begins at 7am in public parks, and the night hours are dedicated to holding "closed-door secret meetings with those who cannot openly come along".

Unlike his rival, seasoned politician Manpreet Badal of the Congress, who doesn’t miss an opportunity to catch commuters' attention with folded hands while travelling, Deepak prefers to keep the car window closed. "Come yaar, tell me," he says, grabbing the hand of his supporter belonging to the lower strata of society, who had arranged a corner meeting in the suburbs of Bathinda. The ‘samosas’ from a 'rehri' were brought inside the supporter's dingy room in the congested colony of the migrant workers, where Deepak took the day's briefing from him. He agrees with the advice to intensify campaigning in the "line paar areas" (suburbs across the railway crossing).

Bhaji dhyan rakheo, assi jittna hai (brother take care of me, we have to win)

Two projectors every night narrate to the voters here that how well the Kejriwal government in Delhi had done, counting on the "facelift of slums with sanitation" or "improving the government schools on a par with the private institutes".

"You have seen how well our government in Delhi has performed," he begins his late night speech in the narrow lanes. He walks briskly, catching up with people at their doors and shops. A cab driver at a taxi stand reassures him: "Tussi taa apne hi ho, main 20 number gali ch, tuhade lagge hi rehnda si ji" (You are our man only, I used to live near your house in Street Number 20). Most of the drivers at the taxi stand terms him as "saaf suthra banda" (man with a clean image).

"Bhaji dhyan rakheo (borthers kindly take care of me),” he keeps repeating before shopkeepers in the downtown market.