Indore: Buddies on and off the election battlefield

  • Ritesh Mishra, Hindustan Times, Indore/Raisen
  • Updated: Jan 25, 2015 23:05 IST

They are childhood friends who grew up playing together. One is a Muslim and the other is a Hindu. But today, they are pitted against each other in the panchayat elections. Surprisingly, this has not impacted their friendship in any way.

Akbar Mohammad and Dileep Singh, the two Sarpanch candidates in Hinaulia Khalasa village under Gairtganj police station of Raisen district, are living examples of friendship and harmony.

Elections have not driven a wedge between them and the two are canvassing for each other in the panchayat elections scheduled on February 5.

They want either one of them to win the elections for the villages’ good. With this motive, they both travel on a single bike across the village panchayat and distribute not their own but each other’s pamphlets.

Mohammad and Singh, who are the talk of the town these days, have decided that they will support each other for the development of the village even after winning the elections.

“We distribute each other’s pamphlets during election campaigns and tell the villagers that both of us are contesting, and that they can cast their vote for whoever they think is capable of developing the village,” said Mohammad.

A total of nine candidates are contesting the elections in the village, which has 965 voters, including 270 Muslims.

The main fight is between Akbar Mohammad, Dileep Singh, Shiv Shankar and Tulsi Ram.

According to the villagers, they both travel on the same motorcycle and most of the times are seen canvassing for each other.

“Akbar’s election symbol is an eye spectacle while mine is a hand pump. Most of time, I distribute his pamphlets in the village. It will not affect our vote bank because people know us well and they can make an informed choice,” said Singh.

They have decided that whoever wins the election will work with the other for the development of the village.

“It is not a fight. It is the right to contest the elections. But after the elections, we will work as a single unit,” said Tulsi Ram, another candidate.

“This trend is new to our village. We believe in friendship and harmony and these two candidates have set an example,” said Mahendra Singh Lodhi, a resident of the village.

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