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Sunday, Nov 17, 2019

With puns and poems, Navjot Singh Sidhu a hit at Nabi Karim

Be it imitating Modi’s ‘bhaiyon and behenon’ remark — something Sidhu repeatedly did — or referring to yoga (he kept twisting and turning his body), Sidhu managed to evoke laughter and applause from the crowd.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: May 04, 2019 08:08 IST
Shiv Sunny
Shiv Sunny
New Delhi
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu addresses a gathering in Nabi Karim, Delhi.
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu addresses a gathering in Nabi Karim, Delhi.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
         

“Sidhu paaji aa gaye, aa gaye ji aa gaye (Sidhu has come, he has come),” a young man in the crowd announced as a tall man in a red turban began ascending the stage erected in the middle of a road in central Delhi’s Nabi Karim. The crowd cheered as a man in the audience sang, “Tun tunak tun, tun tunak tun”.

But it would take another 20 minutes before the gathering would catch a glimpse of Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, who came to address a rally in support of JP Agarwal, the party’s candidate from Chandni Chowk.

The one in the red turban was a Sikh man whom the audience mistook for Sidhu. The person who sang ‘tun tunak tun’ probably never realised that the song was sung by Daler Mehendi, a recent BJP entrant, and had no link to Sidhu.

When he finally arrived, dressed in a maroon kurta and black turban, Sidhu began by imitating cricket shots, drawing loud cheers. But the former cricketer was clearly not impressed with the response. “Ae thoko taali, zor se thoko (come on, clap, clap loudly),” Sidhu called out to them in his trademark style.

He then unleashed a barrage of one-liners, songs and shayaris – a lot of them directed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“I talk against the BJP so that the future generations do not say I was watching silently when the country was in trouble,” was one of his less stinging remarks.

Be it imitating Modi’s ‘bhaiyon and behenon’ remark — something Sidhu repeatedly did — or referring to yoga (he kept twisting and turning his body), Sidhu managed to evoke laughter and applause from the crowd.

“The belly is empty, but he (Modi) wants you to do yoga. Your pockets are empty, but he opens your bank accounts. You have no food, but he constructs toilets,” Sidhu, who was earlier with the BJP, told a few hundred-odd people who crowded the Ram Nagar Chowk. “I will continue working for you. Sidhu saab is my guarantee,” Agarwal told the crowd.

The references to local issues were limited, but specific.

“Residents of Nabi Karim have been troubled by sealing, bad streets, water and sewer issues,” Sidhu said.