Politics News

AAP Candidate Labh Singh’s Mother Holds On to Jhadu Even as Son Sweeps Polls, Wins Against CM Channi

Among the many surprises that sprung from Punjab assembly elections, which was swept by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), one is the defeat of outgoing chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi from the Bhadaur constituency. Labh Singh, a small-time mobile shop owner and an unlikely candidate, took on Channi and won by over 37,000 votes.

Although Labh Singh has now shot to fame with the win, his mother, Baldev Kaur, will continue her humble job of a contractual sweeper at a government school in their native Ugoke village in Barnala district. In her late fifties, Baldev Kaur says she has categorically told her MLA son that she won’t give up her job.

“The jhadu (broom) was with us when it was a compulsion to run the household and now that jharu has given us instant recognition with our son winning the assembly election, it will remain a part of our life,” she told Times of India.

Baldev took everyone by surprise when she showed up for work on March 11, a day after her son Labh Singh emerged as the AAP candidate who defeated the sitting chief minister and was on his way to Mohali to attend the legislative party meeting where Bhagwant Mann was elected AAP legislative party leader.

“I am extremely happy that my son has achieved this victory, that too by defeating the sitting chief minister but I will continue to discharge my duty. For me, it is a way of life. My earnings from the job help run the household,” the Times of India quoted Baldev as saying.

Coming from a humble background, Labh Singh defied the perception that only the rich or those from a political family can afford to contest election. His father is a driver, his wife a seamstress, and he ran a mobile repair shop before he joined the AAP as a volunteer in 2013. Since their family did not have finances needed for election campaign, their friends and well-wishers pitched in.

A 12th pass, Labh Singh was confident of his victory from day one. He had accused Channi of wearing a “mask of an aam aadmi (common man)”. “There are 74 villages in my constituency and I know the problems of every village. For me, Bhadaur is not a ‘halqa’ (constituency) but my family. Channi sahab does not know the names of even 10 villages of Bhadaur seat,” Labh Singh had said.

The family looks forward to a better future, but luxury is not part of their plans. Baldev Kaur said the election victory will not turn their fortunes around. “We do not think that our fortun es will change in a big way as Labh Singh will work honestly and we will run our household with the money we earn with an honest day’s work,” she said

Labh Singh’s wife, Veerpal Kaur, said she will continue to work as usual, contribute financially to the household and take care of her family. His father, Darshan Singh, is a little uncomfortable with the limelight and people thronging to their doors to congratulate Labh Singh. “We are poor people and though Labh might have given a new meaning to our life, we are happy with the way we are living,” he told Times of India.

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