“Mere paas haarne ko kuch nahi hai, tabhi darr bhi nahi hai” (I have nothing to lose hence I am not scared), says an independent candidate contesting the polls from Amritsar constituency. What separates him from other candidates is the fact that he is a daily wager who has sacrificed his job to stand independently for the fifth time in separate elections.
Candidate Sham Lal Gandhi, 34, has again padded up to contest the polls from Amritsar West constituency opposite Congress candidate Rajkumar Verka and BJP candidate Rakesh Gill, despite defeats in various polls in the past.
When it all started
Gandhi’s maiden appearance in the election scenario was in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections in which he contested independently and earned 1,494 votes. His second run was in the 2012 assembly elections where he contested from Amritsar West constituency from the Bhartiya Chetanya Party. He also contested the municipal corporation elections in 2012 while the third time was in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Now, Gandhi is geared up for the assembly election on February 4 and this time, he is sharing the stage with top guns of major political parties.
While other political leaders would woo voters in their SUVs and swanky cars, Gandhi would pedal his white bicycle promoting the message of peace.
“I am a son of a rickshaw puller and my mother does household jobs. I do not have financial power but my determination is staunch. I have written to the election commission and have also taken up the matter with local authorities that why like other candidates, independent candidates are not provided with sufficient machinery and facilities. This is keeping us behind,” said Gandhi.
While speaking to HT about what keeps him going even after repeated defeats, he said, “Main haar ke bhi jeet jata hoon.”
“I do not win but still stand determined to win a seat one day. Political bigwigs and their party workers have offered me tickets from their parties but I do not want to go against my gandhian principles which would get sacrificed on their political path,” Gandhi added. He filed his papers on Wednesday and interestingly, his security would escort him on bikes while the man will pedal along to seek people’s mandate.