In the election season, many political persons desirous of being candidates succeed in getting a party nomination. Many more get left out. A political party is built upon the support of millions of political workers who have sacrificed their time and energy without ever aspiring to hold elected office. What does a politician do when after a successful political career the party is unable to accommodate him once? That is when his discipline and political loyalty are to be tested.
Membership of political party is a privilege. It is also an act of self oppression where personal views and ambitions are subjected to the collective wisdom of the party. At times, the party may flood leaders with privileges and positions. On other occasions, the leader may have to take “no” as an answer to his desires. How does a politician or a leader react to such “no”? He must accept the decision with a smile. This becomes a test of his loyalty and discipline. Restraint and silence are always a preferred option. Over-reaction may prove be a transient storm in a tea cup. Silence is always dignified and more gracious.
Yesterday, my election office in Amritsar was formally inaugurated. The election office is located at what is popularly known as the “Khanna Samarak”. The Khanna Samarak is a three-storeyed building located in the heart of the city adjacent to the famous Durgiana Temple. It is named after Shaheed Harbans Lal Khanna, a BJP leader, who was killed by the terrorists. In 2007, when I was the Prabhari of Punjab, I had mooted the idea of raising the building at the Samarak. We collected some resources for the purpose. The political workers in Amritsar put up a great effort to raise the building. Little did I know at that stage that one day this building will become my own election office.
The Congress candidate from Amritsar, Captain Sahib, has still not come to the constituency. Regrettably, he is resorting to his old USP i.e. lower the level of debate through “personalized and discourteous language”. I have to resist the temptation of reciprocating in the same manner. However, a polite response is necessary.
Despite my ancestral roots in Punjab, Captain Sahib called me an “outsider” and a “pseudo” Punjabi. Will be kind enough to tell me which state in India does Mrs.Sonia Gandhi belongs to?
Captain Sahib further wants to know if after winning from Amritsar, will I shift to Amrtisar? Surely, I will have both an office and residential base in Amritsar, but will he ever be available to the people of Amritsar at all. Past experience shows that he has been inaccessible not only to the people but also to his own party leaders including his ministers. His availability is only for a few hours since otherwise his palace is always inaccessible to the common man.
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