‘Inaccessible’ Guru connecting naturally
The slogan “Guru bhai ji zindabad, Guru bhai ji zindabad…” rented the air as the SAD candidate from Bhadaur and former principal secretary to the chief minister, Darbara Singh Guru, stepped into Dhaula village, 3 km from Khudian Khurd, his native village.india Updated: Jan 09, 2012 13:12 IST
The slogan “Guru bhai ji zindabad, Guru bhai ji zindabad…” rented the air as the SAD candidate from Bhadaur and former principal secretary to the chief minister, Darbara Singh Guru, stepped into Dhaula village, 3 km from Khudian Khurd, his native village.
Known to have remained inaccessible as a bureaucrat, Guru has suddenly transformed into a leader who mixes with people, cracks jokes with them and attends almost every phone call.
While the image makeover may be a political compulsion, it is the grants doled out by him for this constituency which speak for his popularity.
Guru has done for Dhaula villagers what no politician could since Independence. Six months ago, he provided them a metalled road, all in a matter of 20 days. Having allotted about Rs 70 crore for various development projects in the constituency in the last one year, he enjoys considerable influence in villages of Bhadaur.
“Not only you, even my wife had this grouse that I do not attend calls. As principal secretary to the chief minister, I used to remain busy in meetings. Now you tell me whether it was really possible for me to take phone calls when the CM was discussing confidential matters with me,” Guru told HT.
A “man of a few words”, he is now interacting with people like never before, giving long speeches and highlighting the work done by him. “I had some compulsions as a bureaucrat when I could not discuss issues openly. Now as a politician, I have the right to comment on everything. I interact with people to know what they want from politicians so that I can do things accordingly,” said Guru.
“By the way, I am son of a peasant who has milked buffaloes and cut fodder before joining IAS. I’ve always been in touch with the people of the area. I am the most popular principal secretary to the CM, and it’s paying me dividends”, he said.
In his speeches, Guru tries to impress people by citing his experience as bureaucrat. “ I know from where the file of a project starts and who takes the final call. I’ll resolve all your problems within minutes. You have already seen a trailer of it,” he says.
‘Mudslinging not my style’
Interestingly, Guru avoids any reference to the Congress or its candidate Mohammad Sadique, a folk singer. “I respect him as a singer. I don’t want to indulge in mudslinging. I am unfolding my agenda, talking about my administrative experience and leaving it to the public to decide whether they want an experienced hand or a singer who, despite his singing talent, has no idea how to go about development projects,” he told HT.
Commenting on how he decided to join politics, Guru said, “One day, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who is my political guru, asked me about my date of retirement. After listening to my reply, he said he did not want to retire me. ‘Be ready to contest from Bhadaur,’ he told me.”
On the difficulties he faced in transition from a bureaucrat to a politician, Guru said, “Principal secretary to the CM is a politico-administrative post. You have to assist the CM on every political and administrative issue. So this post has helped me a lot in starting my political career on a good note.”
‘Amarinder is simply having a nice time’
On why he chose Badal over Amarinder, he said, “I served under both of them and respect them a lot. But Badal sahib is very cool. He is a man of the masses. He never creates tension over a hasty decision and is always accessible. Sorry to say, but this is not the case with Amarinder. While Badal sahib has dedicated his life to the people, Amarinder is simply having a nice time.”