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Man who hurled shoe at Chidu rides on volunteers' donations

Friday, 4 April 2014 - 8:10am IST | Agency: DNA

There is nothing aam (common) about the campaign of journalist-turned-Aam Aadmi Party candidate Jarnail Singh.

Like other candidates from West Delhi Lok Sabha constituency, Singh's convoy too has over a dozen bikes, SUVs with loud speakers playing Arvind Kejriwal's recorded speeches and patriotic songs. Singh himself moves in an open jeep flanked by party supporters during road shows in the narrow lanes of the villages in his electoral constituency.

Every now and then, he waves at people and alights from the jeep at a few places as his supporters greet him with garlands. Many want to shake hands with him. He ensures that he meets all the gathered people before hopping back into the jeep. Singh confessed that he did not vote in the 2009 election because he did not find a suitable candidate or a party worth voting for. But this time around, he has been appealing people to come out of their homes to vote for AAP.

The three SVUs in his convoy are filled with AAP pamphlets and handouts about Singh and the work done by AAP in Delhi. "We have been driving at least a hundred kilometres each day. West Delhi is one of the biggest parliamentary seats in Delhi," said Jarnail's brother Karnail Singh, who moves with him every day.

Coming from a humble, middle-class background, Singh had been a journalist with Hindi national dailies. He became famous after he hurled a shoe at Union finance minister P Chidambaram at a press conference. But today, he can afford to spend on elections like any other candidate in the area.

Asked about how the campaign is being funded, Karnail said: "Our party does not have the money to support us. It is all from the donations that I have been getting from my supporters."

Karnail explained that the convoy vehicles belong to party volunteers. "One supporter gave us his car, another volunteered to fill fuel. That's how we operate," said Singh, and then evaded questions about his election expenditure.

In classic AAP candidates' manner, Singh also said that he never wanted to contest the election. "I was approached by the party during the Delhi elections. But I was not serious about the party then. But when they approached me for the Lok Sabha polls, I could not hold back," he says.

Singh says that he is contesting to put an end to the three Cs in politics. "Criminilization of politics, corruption in politics and communalisation of politics must come to an end. AAP is here to clean the system," he said.

Singh also goes out telling people that the Congress and the BJP did not support AAP to bring in the Janlokpal Bill in Delhi. While some are convinced, many are not.

"I had voted for AAP in the Delhi election. Their intentions are good, but the other parties do not want them to come up," said Parveer, an auto driver in Kuwar Singh village.


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