Lok Sabha elections 2019: Will it be 3rd time lucky for babu-turned-neta?
The retired IAS officer, who unsuccessfully contested the state assembly elections twice, is in the fray from the Fatehgarh Sahib Lok Sabha constituency as candidate of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).Updated: May 03, 2019 11:00 IST
Bureaucratturned-politician Darbara Singh Guru hopes to be third time lucky in his electoral bid.
The retired IAS officer, who unsuccessfully contested the state assembly elections twice, is in the fray from the Fatehgarh Sahib Lok Sabha constituency as candidate of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
In his first election in 2012 he contested from Bhadaur assembly segment after taking premature retirement from service, but lost to Mohammad Sadique of Congress by 6,969 votes even though the SAD-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance scripted history by retaining power.
In the 2017 assembly polls, he lost to Congress leader Gurpreet Singh in Bassi Pathana by 22,429 votes, slipping to the third position.
Despite his two straight defeats, he has been fielded from this Panthic seat, thanks to his closeness to five-time former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal with whom he worked as principal secretary to chief minister (PSCM) from 2007 to 2011.
The announcement of his candidature was flayed by the families of four Sikh youths who were killed in police firing in 1986 in Nakodar and some organisations as he was the additional deputy commissioner, Jalandhar, at that time.
TAKING NO CHANCES
Guru, a 1980-batch officer of Punjab cadre, lost to politicians on both previous occasions, but his fight is with another retired mandarin Dr Amar Singh of the Congress this time.
A year junior to Guru in service, Amar Singh, who belongs to Punjab, was a Madhya Pradesh cadre officer and worked with Digvijay Singh as principal secretary to chief minister.
The two former babus are apparently locked in a direct fight, as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which won the seat in 2014, made a hash of its candidate selection by naming three different candidates in a span of just two weeks.
Guru is taking no chances and has already gone full steam in a bid to put an end to his losing streak, targeting the Amarinder government for not fulfilling its poll promises.
On Bargari sacrilege and subsequent police firing that
dented the Panthic appeal of SAD, he has his defence ready, terming it an “extremely unfortunate”.
“During SAD and Congress governments, there were desecration incidents, but both had no hand in them. In all 29 incidents between 2015 and 2017, the SAD government made arrests and the cases are in court,” he says before claiming there was politics behind the anti-Akali protests.
TRANSITION TO POLITICS
Guru, who has made total transition to politics in approach and demeanour, attributes it to his stint with Badal. “Once you serve as PSCM, then besides being a bureaucrat you also become a politician,” he says.
The non-controversial bureaucrat stayed in the state throughout his career and got good assignments irrespective of political regime.
Guru and Amar Singh have been friends for long. “When I was deputy commissioner in Amritsar, I used to get calls from him (Guru) to help Amar Singh whenever he had some personal work there,” reminisced an IAS officer.
First Published: May 03, 2019 11:00 IST