Seeking to wrest power in its debut in the Assembly polls in Punjab, the Aam Aadmi party has got support from an unexpected quarter– two young students who are drawing huge crowds at party rallies through their oratory skills.
While BSC student Navjot Kaur (18) is from Lambi’s Kheowali village, MA student Narinder Kaur (22) is of Bharat village in Sangrur.
They take on the Shiromani Akali Dal, the drug menace, mafia, and other ills afflicting the state in their speeches.
None of them hails from a political family.
Narinder had hogged the limelight in 2014 parliamentary elections when she had manned the polling booth of AAP candidate Bhagwant Mann in her village when party workers expressed their inability to manage the booth.
Navjot came to the notice in January when she shared stage with AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal at Kolianwali village when the party announced the candidature of Delhi MLA Jarnail Singh from Lambi Assembly constituency against Parkash Singh Badal.
Navjot and Narinder have become an integral part of the party’s campaign in Lambi and Sangrur.
Narinder is also sparing time to campaign in Jalalabad for her mentor Bhagwant Mann.
She is an MA in sociology from Punjabi University, Patiala, while Navjot is in the first year of B Sc (non-medical) at Baba Farid Institute, Bathinda.
“During travelling by public buses from my village to Patiala while pursuing graduation, I faced a lot of hardships due to rush and also faced vulgar remarks from drug-addicted youths,” Narinder says.
“Drugs are so rampant that I had to face them at my home,” she said. Her father Gurnam Singh, a farmer, was addicted to poppy and opium and she made him shun drugs.
“Now I am working for youths to shun drugs,” she said.
For Navjot, joining politics was important because “administrative system and governance has badly collapsed in Punjab”.
“It needs an overhaul. Farmers, too, are at the crossroads and are committing suicides. I am raising my voice for the restoration of the faith of people in governments; this would be possible when governments shed their corrupt approach. I hope AAP will provide clean governance,” said Navjot, who invokes the name of martyr Bhagat Singh in every election meeting.
Navjot is the daughter of a farmer of Kheowali village (near Badal’s village). Her speaking skills have made her a star campaigner for AAP nominee Jarnail Singh. She already has about 15,000 followers on her Facebook page.
Due to her rising popularity, especially among the youth, she even gets extra time to address the public, and that too in the presence of Jarnail Singh and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal.
“I belong to a non-political family. Nobody drafts my speech. It is God’s gift that I can easily speak on issues related to Punjab. My regular participation in declamation competitions during school days has stood me in good stead.’
Inspired by the Jan Lokpal movement, she started following the AAP about one-and-a-half-years ago.
Her speeches, delivered in chaste Punjabi, mainly focuses on bashing the Badals and PPCC chief Capt Amarinder Singh.
She starts her speeches highlighting problems being faced by the youth, the country’s freedom movement, and then targets the state leaders over patronage to the mining mafia. She also refers to stories narrated by her grandparents to keep the audience engrossed.
She is also at home while speaking on sensitive issues such as the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, incidents of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib and farmer suicides.