After serving his landlord at Raowali village near here for 30 years, Chabeel Ram (42) has become the district's first migrant labourer sarpanch.
"I am happy to get elected and will work for the development of the village," an excited Ram said in a mix of Hindi and Punjabi on Thursday, a day after his victory in the panchayat election here. Still a bachelor, he was busy feeding the cattle.
Supported by the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), he defeated Congress-backed Resham Lal by 116 votes. Lal had been sarpanch for a decade before going down to the migrant labourer from Madhya Pradesh who supports a beard since becoming a Sikh about 12 years ago.
Ram is vegetarian, teetotaller and non-smoker. "I embraced Sikhism since it preaches equality among the masses of all classes," he said. His employer, Jasbir Singh Rana, said Ram had lived with his family since the age of 12. "He is a dedicated worker and a religious man," he said.