Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala joins the Congress party in the presence of Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and President of Punjab Congress Navjot Singh Sidhu, in Chandigarh on Friday


DW BUREAU / Chandigarh Popular Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala, booked last year for allegedly promoting gun culture through his songs, joined the Congress party on Friday. The singer joined the party in presence of state Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and the party's state chief Navjot Singh Sidhu here and may contest the upcoming Punjab assembly elections. The 28-year-old singer, whose real name is Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu and who has a fan following among youths, had been booked last year for allegedly promoting violence and gun culture through his song ''Sanju''. He was earlier also booked under various provisions of the Arms Act and the Disaster Management Act in Barnala after his photographs of firing an AK-47 rifle at a firing range during the Covid lockdown went viral on social media. He hails from Moosa village in Mansa district and his mother is a village head. Moosewala's father, who was also present on the occasion, is an ex-serviceman. While welcoming Moosewala into the party fold, the Punjab Congress chief described him as a "youth icon" and an "international figure". "Sidhu Moosewala is joining our family. I welcome him in the Congress fold," he told reporters here. Senior Congress leader Harish Choudhary, who is the party's Punjab affairs in-charge, was also present. Channi said Moosewala became a "big artist with his sheer hard work and won the hearts of millions of people with his songs"'. When asked how Moosewala, who faced allegations of promoting gun culture in his songs, will give direction to youths, Punjab Transport Minister Raja Warring, who was also present, quipped, "The person who has ten crore followers means he has already given direction to the youth, that's why people are following him." Warring was learnt to be instrumental in Moosewala's induction to the party. Replying to a reporter's question on the pending case against Moosewala for allegedly promoting the gun culture, Navjot Singh Sidhu said, "Understand one thing facing a case does not mean one is guilty... I also faced a case but won six elections. It is a sub-judice matter and it is not appropriate to comment on a matter related to court". As Sidhu took the plea that it was not proper to comment on a sub-judice matter, the reporter sought to remind him of his (Sidhu's) consistent statements on pending cases involving drug menace in the state. At this, Sidhu asserted that the case against the drug menace is not sub-judice. The Punjab Congress president had last month threatened to go on an indefinite fast if his party's government does not make public the STF report on the drug menace. During the event here on Friday, Sidhu reiterated that there was no bar on making the report public. "Those who say the matter is sub-judice.. if anyone cannot understand, he should get some education," Sidhu retorted, asserting that there was no bar from the court in making the report public. On the case against Moosewala for allegedly promoting the gun culture and another case lodged earlier, Sidhu said, "Let the people decide about it. It is not a media trial." While welcoming Moosewal to the party fold, Sidhu said, "An iconic, cult figure is joining Congress family today. It is not that he is new to our family. His mother is a Congress party Sarpanch. We see him as a youth icon, who commands great respect." "He will fight elections for us but that is a decision for another day. His meeting with the party high command will be arranged on Friday," said Sidhu. Sidhu said Moosewala has a great following among youths and is "a popular and international figure". Chief Minister Channi, while welcoming the singer into the party fold, said, "Today is a revolutionary day in Punjab's politics. A man from a simple family, who became a big artist with his hard work and who won hearts not only in Punjab but around the world, has joined the Congress." Moosewala said he started music 3-4 years back and earned people's love and respect. "After four years, I am going to take a new step in my life, it is a beginning in a new world. It has never been my interest in this (politics)? but from the beginning, I love my village. My father is an ex-Army man," he said. (editor@dailyworld.in)


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