While candidates of political parties and Independents are trying every trick in the book to attract the attention of the electorate, Satish Dass, head of Samain village Dera, who is official candidate of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) from Meham assembly segment, is an exception.
Dass (43), a graduate from Vaish College, Rohtak, is actively carrying out philanthropic activities from the income generated from agricultural land in possession of Samain Dera.
His dera that preaches teachings of Vaishnav sect has a large following in Meham town and outside, as he runs a charitable hospital, dharmshalas for people. As per locals, Dass who was appointed dera successor 22 years ago earned recognition by donating generously to educational institutions and for basic facilities at villages.
During a visit to Meham town on Wednesday, Dass campaigned door-to-door in the main market of the town. Shopkeepers showered respect on him by touching his feet and vacating their seats for him.
Talking to HT, Dass, sporting a saffron headgear, said he was not interested in politics but it was Samain Tapa, consisting of seven villages where his dera exists, who lobbied for him for the INLD ticket and urged him to take a plunge into politics to clean the system.
Dass, a man of few words and a political greenhorn, said during his campaign he does not focus on what others have not done, but insists what he can do for people if he gets elected in the ensuing election.
About his daily schedule, Dass, who has not married, said he wakes up as early as 2.45am to perform prayer and havan before starting the day and maintains a spartan lifestyle by living in the village temple.
Former sarpanch of Samain village Dalip Siwach said Dass commands huge respect in the region owing to his social activities. He said it was Dass, who when anointed as head of Samain Dera ended the practice of untouchability in 1992 as at that time people from Scheduled Castes community were not allowed to enter the temple.
INLD sources said handing ticket to Satish Dass was a strategic move of party, as several leaders were aspiring and the allotment of ticket to any of them could have caused desertions or heartburn.
However, ticket to a religious figure satisfied other frontrunners. The party also expects on cash in on Dass reputation as a religious figure.