Lost 16 Polls, But 73-year-old Cobbler in the Fray Once Again - The New Indian Express

Lost 16 Polls, But 73-year-old Cobbler in the Fray Once Again

Published: 15th April 2014 04:04 PM

Last Updated: 15th April 2014 04:04 PM

He may have lost 16 elections, but it has not deterred 73-year-old cobbler Om Prakash Jhakku from trying his luck once again from the Hoshiarpur seat of Punjab.

Jhakku, who runs his shop from a small rented kiosk in the Kotwali Bazaar in Hoshiarpur, has contested 16 elections unsuccessfully -- three Lok Sabha, seven assembly and rest for municipal committee and panchayats.

"If Narendra Modi, a chai wala (tea seller), can contest for the Prime Ministerial post, why cannot I contest for MP," said Jhakku, who campaigns on a scooter gifted to him by his grandson.

"Vote for me," he pleads whoever he meets.

Jhakku will slug it out against Congress sitting Jalandhar MP Mohinder Singh Kaypee, BJP's Vijay Sampla and AAP's Yamini Gomar on April 30 when Punjab will go to polls.

He has contested on the tickets of Bhahujan Samaj Party, Janta Dal, Lok Bhalai Party, Lok Jan Shakti Party and also as an Independent candidate.

"I started my political career in 1978 and fought 16 elections till date. I have never won elections, but still my fight will continue because I want to do something for the poor," he says when asked about his idea behind fighting polls.

Attacking politicians of major political outfits, he said, "Those who win, seldom think about the poor, but focus on the welfare of their own near and dear ones." 

Taking a dig at Kaypee and Sampla, he said both of them have been "parachuted" by their political parties.

Kaypee is Congerss MP from Jalandhar seat, but the party shifted him to Hoshiarpur.

"It is really bad that major political outfits did not get a local candidate for this seat," he said.

Jhakku, who is among the total 17 contestants from Hoshiarpur seat, including seven Independents, asserts that the poor also have a right to lead a respectful and dignified life.

"I earn my living by repairing shoes and even during my campaigns, I repair shoes of people in villages," he says.

Jhakku has two sons. One works as a clerk and the other is a head constable with the Punjab Police.

He claims to have met various important people of the country like the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, late President Giani Zail Singh, among others.

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