Mansa, Feb 3 (IANS) He's the youngest and crowd-puller candidate in the Punjab electoral arena as he understands the pulse and instantly strikes a "musical" chord with voters.
Leaving behind his celebrated tag of a top Punjabi rap singer with fans across the globe, singer-turned-actor-politician Sidhu Moosewala, who was booked for allegedly promoting gun culture and violence, takes pride in crediting his mother Charan Kaur, sarpanch of his native Moosa village, for making his electoral debut as a Congress candidate from Mansa for the February 20 Assembly polls.
During his campaigning, he does not hesitate to fold his hands and bow his head before the commoners to seek votes for the party.
Also the 27-year-old singer, who is often caught on the wrong side of the law but broke several records, does not mind in singing couplets of his songs and posing for countless selfies with the electorate, largely first-timers.
"I have not joined politics for fame. I want to serve my people by generating employment and developing infrastructure," Shubhdeep Singh, now famous as Sidhu Moosewala, who have lent his voice in messages about how to stay safe amidst Covid-19, told IANS.
He shares a personal bond with his fans. "My songs resonate with their deepest emotions, their loves and likes. They hang on my words and wait for my new releases and sing along when I sing on their request. In other words, they trust me," an upbeat Moosewala, who calls Toronto his second home, added.
He believes his songs helps building an instant rapport with the voters, especially in rural areas which do no gave much access to modern culture.
"That's the power," says octogenarian Dilraj Singh of Joga village, while pointing towards a public meeting of Moosewala. "If he can harness that much energy for raking up local issues and concerns, I am sure Moosewala wins hearts."
Behind the scenes, a social media is sharing and creating a mass connect for Moosewala on his Facebook page, "Sidhu Moose Wala", with a 1.1 million fan following.
Pitted against Vijay Singla of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Prem Arora, the singer, donning blue jeans and a hoodie sweatshirt, is seen mingling freely with the crowds, comprising women and children.
With assets of Rs 7.87 crore as per his nomination affidavit, the singer-turned-politician, who loves to ride on an open jeep, is facing four criminal cases, including two for obscene scenes.
Controversies are not new to Moosewala. He created stir by allegedly misusing the name of 18th century Sikh warrior Mai Bhago in his track 'Jatti Jeonay Morh Di Bandook Wargi' with panthic bodies demanding his arrest for hurting Sikh sentiments. He later apologised.
Just days ahead of announcing his candidature, Mansa Youth Congress president Chuspinderbir Singh Chahal challenged Moosewala to undergo a dope test. At this, Moosewala replied he has no time for such malicious allegations.
Critics within the Congress were aghast over his candidature. They say on his Instagram account there are several posts where he is carrying guns.
Moosewala, who is facing charges of promoting violence and gun culture in his song "Sanju", joined the Congress on December 3, 2021.
During the induction ceremony, state party president Navjot Singh Sidhu described Moosewala as a youth icon.
"Not only youngsters, people of all age groups like Moosewala. He has a unique style and is a youth icon," Sidhu had said.
Describing Moosewala as a "big artiste", Chief Minister Charanjit Channi said with his sheer hard work he has won the hearts of millions of people.
After joining the party, Moosewala met Rahul Gandhi in Delhi.
Moosewala, who created a niche for himself with his unique rapping style, is known for hit tracks like 'Legend', 'Devil', 'Just listen', 'Jatt da Muqabala' and 'Hathyar', among many others.
He plays the protagonist in Punjabi film 'Moosa Jatt'. His another film 'Yes I Am A Student' is a story that sheds light on the hardship of international students but inspires them to never lose hope.
Many of his songs featured in the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 charts.
"I am not entering politics for status or to earn praise. I want to become a part of the system to transform it. I am joining the Congress to raise the voice of the people. I am joining the Congress as the party has leaders who have come from common families," Moosewala, who went to Canada in 2016 as an international student, said on the day he joined the politics.
He said he is still living in the same house in his village. His father is an ex-serviceman and his mother is a sarpanch. "Residents of my area have expectations from me," he added.
From the Mansa seat in 2017, AAP legislator Nazar Singh Manshahia won with over 20,000 votes. In April 2019, he rebelled and joined the Congress.
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