The landslide victory of the Aam Admi Party in Punjab has created a situation worth watching and talking about. Fresh faces of the Arvind Kejriwal-led party have become a topic of discussion on the internet. The new set of candidates have defeated senior Congress leaders of Punjab and emerged victorious. And one such woman is AAP's Jeevan Jyot Kaur, who was fighting her first poll battle.
Kaur, as the first-time candidate from Amritsar East, defeated political heavyweights like Punjab Congress President Navjot Singh Sidhu, Shiromani Akali Dal’s Bikram Singh Majithia and former IAS officer and BJP candidate Jagmohan Singh Raju. Sidhu was also the sitting MLA of Amritsar East and Majitha is SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal’s brother-in-law.
According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), Kaur won with 39,520 votes, while Sidhu, who was in second place, received 32,807 votes and Majithia got 25,112 votes. Raju received 7,255 votes. Precisely, Kaur defeated Sidhu by a margin of 6,750 votes.
The Padwoman of Punjab
Kaur’s work earned her the sobriquet of 'pad woman', very much like Akshay Kumar-starring Bollywood movie Padman (2018). Born in Hoshiarpur, 50-year-old Kaur has been a philanthropist for most of her life. She has been associated with the Shri Hemkunt Education Society (SHE) and worked for a project titled -- EcoShe Menstrual Health Programme -- which was a collaboration between a Swiss company and the Kaur-chaired SHE.
Under this project, which oversaw the distribution of eco-friendly sanitary napkins in prisons, schools, slum areas and rural places in Punjab, Kaur earned plaudits for her work. And gradually she came to be called the ‘Padwoman of Punjab’, which has now become her Twitter bio as well.
Kaur founded SHE in 1995-96. The organisation has been populated through their deluge of social works including building a school for the underprivileged and a sustainable community.
Kaur’s rise to politics
On February 15, Kaur tweeted, “In a 5-star hotel in Amritsar, two big leaders of Congress and Akali have match-fixing regarding Amritsar East seat. So much fear of a common woman? Do as much fixing as you want, the defeat of both of you is certain”.
Not having the national visibility like Sidhu and Majithia, Kaur still rose to her ranks in AAP since 2015. Currently, she is AAP’s spokesperson in Punjab. Ahead of the 2017 Punjab Assembly Elections, Kaur was AAP’s only woman volunteer from the Majitha region. Following the elections, Kau was appointed the co-president of the party’s women wing and gradually she upped the ladder to become AAP’s campaign coordinator for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and also worked for AAP national spokesperson Raghav Chadda ahead of the 2020 Delhi Assembly Elections.
Ahead of the 2022 Punjab Assembly elections, Kaur’s had run an extensive door-to-door campaign and ‘Jan Sansad’ sessions. Her campaigns had majorly focussed on medical facilities, lack of clean drinking water, power supply, improper garbage disposal, drug addiction and so on.
Accusing Sidhu and Majithia of “political elephants”, once, she had said that both the leaders were busy fighting among themselves rather than raising real issues of the people, who were concerned.