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Punjab elections 2017: Long way to go for Cong’s first-gen neta Dalvir Singh Goldy
He is not in politics by chance. Politically erudite Dalvir Singh Goldy, 33, had planned a career in politics when he was a university student. “Things are going as per the plan,” he says, alighting from his Mitsubishi SUV in Dhuri market where he is supposed to attend a ‘nukkad’ meeting.
Belonging to Punnawala village, soft spoken and suave Goldy became the Panjab University students’ council president in 2006. His political journey started when he was elected as a class representative in SD College, Chandigarh. He completed his post-graduation in History in 2007. The same year, he came back to his native village and started nurturing the constituency he is now a candidate from.
Name: Dalvir Singh Goldy
Education: MA (History)
Role model: Shaheed Bhagat Singh
Poll quotient: Plays the native card and doesn’t hesitate in telling the voters that he belongs to a middle-class family.
By the way: Wears turban at religious functions, but otherwise prefers to be without the headgear
In 2010, he became national coordinator of National Students Union of India (NSUI) and currently is the general secretary of Punjab Youth Congress. He formed an NGO, Aashirwaad Foundation, for taking up the issues of the locals. “I got confiscated two truckloads of bicycles during the parliamentary polls in 2014, which were to be distributed to the voters when poll code was already in force,” says Goldy , sitting at a Congress councillor’s house.
Main Punjab da putt haa, par meri jummevaari Dhuri prati vadd hai, kyonki main es dharti te janmiyaa haan. (I am son of Punjab, but my responsibilities towards Dhuri are more as I was born here)
“Oho bazurgo, godey hath taan la lain deo,” was what Goldy told an elderly when he hugged him during a ‘mohalla’ meeting. “Main Punjab da putt haa, par meri jummevaari Dhuri prati vadd hai, kyonki main es dharti te janmiyaa haan. Je main Dhuri da nahee bann sakiya, main Punjab da putt akhvaun de kabil nahee (I am son of Punjab, but my responsibilities towards Dhuri are more as I was born here. If I am not Dhuri’s son, I don’t qualify to be that of Punjab’s,” he says at a poll speech.
Goldy is mainly selling his native credentials. “I was born here, grew up and went to school in Dhuri, all the MLAs in the past were outsiders, and Dhuri remained neglected,” he says. Then in the next breath, he lists what ails his segment —the bridge connecting Dhuri to Malerkotla is in a dilapidated state, a toll plaza has come up on the main road that runs through the constituency, bus stand is in a congested area, civil hospital exists only in the name and local sugar mill not making timely payments to the farmers.
“A plan is ready to tackle all the issues once I am elected as an MLA,” he says.
Akali Dal has fielded entrepreneur Hari Singh MD of Preet Tractors from the constituency and AAP’s choice is Jassi Sekhon. “I have no worry even though Hari Singh has all the money to buy votes. Sekhon makes big claims, but I have my own strengths,” says Goldy, saying he is an ordinary man — son of a retired employee of Food Corporation of India (FCI). But the art of raising people’s issues is in his blood. “My father remained a unionist during his service days and fought for employee rights,” he explains.
Goldy was lucky to have taken a head start in the campaigning as his name was announced in the first list announced on December 16. By now, he has covered most parts of the constituency – 74 villages with 45,000 voters and Dhuri town with 1.1-lakh voters. He launched his campaign by paying obeisance at a gurdwara and a Shiv mandir. Besides the family members and relatives who are already campaigning for him, Goldy says his university days’ friends will boost the campaigning in the last 15 days.
“My wife Simrat plans and executes meetings on her won. Striking a rapport with the women in the constituency is mainly her responsibility,” he adds. His father-in-law late Manpreet Singh Moranwali, a man with Left leanings, had unsuccessfully contested the assembly polls from Dhuri in 1997. “His presence would have helped me a lot,” he says.
The segment’s 55% population is in the age group of 18 to 40 years. And since Goldy belongs to this bracket, he is a popular face among the youth here.