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In Majha, 2 first-time woman candidates: One pins hope on wave, other on husband’s 3 terms

Jeevan Jyot Kaur began Tuesday with a bang.

“Two big leaders of Congress and Akali Dal met in a 5-star hotel to fix the match regarding Amritsar East seat. Such fear of a common woman? Do as much fixing as you want, the defeat of both of you is certain,” Jeevan Jyot said in a tweet in Hindi.

The reference to the “two big leaders” was not lost on anyone. Jeevan Jyot is the Aam Aadmi Party candidate from Amritsar East where she is pitted against Punjab Congress president and sitting MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu and former minister and senior Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia.

The tweet soon garnered more than 450 retweets and over one thousand likes — numbers that she would like to better have at her political gathering. Just about 50 people were in attendance when she addressed a gathering in Transport Nagar of the constituency, just about an hour after uploading the tweet.

In her short speech, she termed Sidhu and Majithia as “political elephants”. “They are busy fighting with each other. They don’t talk about voters in their speeches. This when people in the constituency don’t have even the basic amenities,” she tells the gathering.

“Majithia doesn’t know about his own , how will he secure the future of your children? Sidhu has been representing you for years and still couldn’t develop the constituency,” she says before urging the voters to give AAP one chance to form the government.

Testing electoral waters for the first time, Jeevan Jyot is popularly known as “pad woman” for running a programme under which woman inmates were provided sanitary napkins in jails across Punjab. As she moves out, she has a long schedule on paper. However, as she leaves from Transport Nagar, her team moves to next rally spot before suddenly aborting the plan and returned to her election office to take a break.

Like many other AAP candidates, not many in the constituency know her and she lacks the kind of networking that established leaders have. She is pining hope on an “AAP wave” in Majha to sail through.

Ganieve Kaur Majithia, like Jeevan Jyot, is a first timer. And that’s where the comparison ends. Unlike the AAP nominee, Ganieve has no shortage of human or material resources to run the campaign in Majitha from where she is contesting as Shiromani Akali Dal candidate and from where where her husband Bikram Singh Majithia is a third time MLA.

Many women have been attending the Akali gathering only see and meet Ganieve. “Bikram Majithia ji would always remain busy (in the constituency) and wouldn’t have much time for family. I would ask why he got married. Children would ask why he is not there. Now I know why he never had time. He was busy with this bigger family of Majitha,” she tells the gathering.

She may lack political experience but makes up for it with informal chats with the women in the crowd.

Ganieve also talks bout her sister-in-law and former union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal to connect with the women.

“People told me that women never used to come to rallies in such a big numbers. Now our time has come,” she says before asking the women to make her victorious with margin bigger than the ones secured by her husband.

To quell any talk of Majithia “abandoning” the constituency,, “ she adds, “We all know under what circumstances he had to contest from Amritsar East. People there were asking if he would leave after winning. So he decided to contest only from one seat. Bikram ji never told me to give love to children. But he tells me everyday to give love to the people of Majitha,” she signs off.

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