Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) contender Dr Daljit Singh, son of the soil, says he is not scared of any “outsider”, a tag that Congress candidate Capt Amarinder Singh and BJP nominee Arun Jaitley are both trying to pin on the other.
The renowned eye surgeon began his Lok Sabha campaign on Wednesday with a morning road show, in which the man of 80 took no vehicle but walked up to the Golden Temple. “I am not terrified of these outsiders,” he said, “rather they would be terrified of the AAP. I look at them as patients. Politics is a disease if it not pursued with the right aim.”
“Even the erstwhile kings were better than today’s politicians, as they were generous at least to the common man,” the doctor added.
To emphasise his Amritsar connection, he talked about his birth in the family of Khalsa College teacher and Sikh intellectual Sahib Singh, and the poverty that his family had experienced. “Coming from an indigent background, I have seen how the poor suffer,” he said.
Stating that the common man today suffered because of inequality, the doctor quoted from the Sikh holy scriptures: “Neecha Andar Neech Jaat, Neechi Hu At Neech, Nanak Tin Kai Sang Saath, Vadian Sio Kia Rees (Nanak is the companion of the lowest of the low and of the condemned. He has nothing in common with the high born).” He said AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal was following in the footsteps of Guru Nanak, who was a prophet of humility and equality.
Terming the AAP as a miracle that began and ended with the common man, the candidate termed Kejriwal a leader taking the message of Guru Nanak to the masses. Addressing the media after his morning road show, the octogenarian ophthalmologist said that unlike his rich political rivals, he had travelled on foot from the Company Gardens to the Golden Temple to begin his campaign.
“I am 80 and yet I said no to flashy cars and walked all the way to the Golden Temple, which gave me an opportunity to meet people on either side of the road,” he said. “I thought if I got tired, I’d take a rickshaw, but after joining this party, I feel 40 again,” he said.
Counting major issues of the constituency, the doctor said it was a matter of shame that the holy city had countless liquor kiosks. “Hardly any tea stall is open in the morning but booze shops are open round the clock,” he said. He said the AAP was a godsend opportunity for the disappointed common man.