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Delhi CM is learning Gurmukhi from 2 tutors, talking to MLAs in local tongue to connect better with the masses

Not too long back Arvind Kejriwal had made news addressing rallies in Punjab sporting a turban. But the next time he visits the poll- bound state, he may be one delivering speeches in fluent Punjabi. The Delhi chief minister, who is eyeing victory in Punjab polls next year, is learning to speak in Punjabi and read and write in Gurmukhi.

" I have learnt Gurmukhi so that I can feel the pulse of the Punjabi population and get familiar with their

Continued from Page 1 cultural heritage and social condition.

Power can be achieved even without knowing the language and the script but then it will be difficult to connect with the masses," Kejriwal told Aaj Tak . The change has not come overnight. It is a result of rigorous practice over the last two months. The CM is taking tuitions and regular tests to assess progress. " I have been devoting two hours every morning to learn Punjabi. This has been a regular practice for the last two months," Kejriwal said. The AAP leader has been reading newspaper reports and even government- related documents in the Punjabi language to prepare himself for the big fight.

While he has been learning to communicate with people in Punjabi tongue, he has been focusing equally on learning Gurmukhi, the language used in Punjab for all official purposes. Kejriwal, who is sparing no effort to repeat the AAP's stupendous Delhi victory in Punjab, says it is crucial to learn the language to make entry into rural Punjab.

This assumes significance given the AAP's vote- bank which essentially resides in the rural areas.

" I am mentally preparing myself to take up the challenge in Punjab. This will help our party in running the government if we get to power in the state. This will ensure there is no communication gap and all official works are carried out with ease," Kejriwal said. He said that he was always willing to walk the extra mile even as his party was working hard to take on the BJP, Akali Dal and the Congress in the Punjab elections.

The Kejriwal government in Delhi, in order to boost Punjabi language, launched a campaign declaring that Punjabi would be made a compulsory language in all government schools in the Capital. The ad further said every school would have at least one Punjabi teacher and that their salary would be raised. The idea is to strike an emotional chord with the Punjabi people in Delhi who have their roots in the pollbound Punjab. " Without striking an emotional chord, it is difficult to reach out to the rural Punjabi voters," he said.

However, it is not only the language but also the organisational framework in Punjab which the AAP chief is focusing on. The party is trying to reach out to people at the lowest level of governance, the panchayats.

It is listening to their issues. Having taken a complete round of the state, Kejriwal said he tried to know the state and now the party was trying to understand the issues concerning Punjab voters. " In the last leg, we will come out with solutions to these problems and subsequently come out with our manifesto," Kejriwal said.

On the issue of drug menace in the state, the AAP leader said Punjab's economy would automatically improve if people stop spending on drugs. He listed education and healthcare as the AAP's major planks in the upcoming polls.

Kejriwal is also learning Gurmukhi, the language used for official purposes

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jun 14, 2016
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