In the recently concluded municipal corporation election in Dehradun once again the public mandate scripted a new India politics’ folklore. In 2014, it was PM Narendra Modi’s story of becoming a PM form being a ‘chaiwallah’ at one point. Similarly, in the Dehradun civic polls another BJP’s mayoral candidate Sunil Gama, who once sold Paan and Chowmein, has given new folklore in the political landscape.
In Dehradun’s urban civic polls BJP won 60 out of 100 seats with 56-year-old Gama grabbing the post of city’s Mayor. Gama defeated his closest challenger, Congress’ Dinesh Agarwal, by more than 30,000 votes.
According to media reports, before joining BJP’s youth wing, Gama did odd jobs like selling paan (Betel leaves) and chowmein. He also took an interest in photography.
While Gama’s rise to power regardless of his humble background deserves praises, it’s worth mentioning that his entry in politics was certainly because of his position as a building contractor. His political journey began in 1991 and was appointed as election coordinator for the Rajpur assembly seat in 2007 assembly elections. With Gama’s victory, Uttarakhand’s capital gets third consecutive BJP mayor.
While BJP won the polls, Congress showed a great improvement in vote share and seat conversion compared to 2013 civic polls in the city. It even succeeded in snatching the Haridwar mayor seat which has been a stronghold of the ruling BJP.