Civil movement

Bhagwant Mann’s ministers: Young Turks, products of the Anna movement, both up for the challenge

At 32 and 31, Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer and Harjot Singh Bains are the youngest ministers in the cabinet of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, who was sworn in as Punjab Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh on Saturday.

Hayer, a mechanical engineer from Barnala, whose political career began in 2011, during the Anna Hazare movement, had not imagined in his wildest dreams that he would become an MP at 27, and a minister at 32.

“Not at all. I never dreamed that I would be a politician. Even after jumping on the Anna bandwagon, I never imagined that activism would take this form,” he told The Indian Express after being sworn in as Cabinet Minister.The son of a retired SDO, who harassed him for joining a newly formed party (Aam Aadmi Party), Hayer recalled how he abandoned his preparations for the exam from the civil service halfway to join the Anna movement “I became a member of a 4-member executive, then party spokesperson, president of the youth wing and finally deputy. Now I am a minister.

“I know the road ahead is not easy. It’s full of challenges. But I haven’t rested since I was elected MP in 2017. I moved. But people gave us such a huge mandate. Look at the huge margins with which my colleagues won. i know we have
to meet expectations. There is no time to rest. We have to deliver,” he said.

Hayer had defeated Congress MP Kewal Dhillon in the 2017 election and this time the son of Congress stalwart Pawan Bansal of Barnala. His school and family campaigned for him.

“BGS Public School, my alma mater, must have gotten me at least 15,000 votes,” Hayer said.

A former captain of the school football and cricket teams, Meet even had elementary school students looking for votes for him. His father went door to door with his three sisters to collect votes for him.

Passionate about fitness, Hayer plays cricket whenever he has the time, listens to music and watches movies to “keep his sanity intact”. Hayer plans to get married now. “I don’t want to delay it. I intend to get married. I could have gotten married sooner, but the last five years have passed without a moment to think of me. I went to all the villages, hundreds of times.

Hayer adopted three dogs, Babar, Sultan and an Indie Kali dog. “I’m in love with them. I had three dogs earlier too. But they’re all dead. I’ve adopted three more now.

For Harjot Singh Bains, the youngest MP in the new Vidhan Sabha, who defeated Congress leader and then Assembly Speaker Rana Kanwar Pal Singh of Anandpur Sahib, it was a dream come true to be sworn in as as minister. “The party is really magnanimous. He gave me so much. »

He said: “I am a student of politics of Arvind Kejriwal. Together we will catapult Punjab. The Punjab model will be talked about everywhere. We will bring this model to the whole country when Arvind Kejriwal becomes the country’s Prime Minister in 2024.”

A practicing lawyer in Punjab and the High Court of Haryana, Bains, who was also introduced to politics by the Anna Hazare movement, when he became the organizer of the Punjab AAP. He was part of many social organizations and founded a pan-Punjab United Youth Organization when he was 18 years old.

He made headlines when he organized a 300km Pawan Punjab march against drugs ahead of the 2017 elections. After that, the AAP nominated him from the Sahnewal Assembly segment in the elections, but he was lost.

“I know the challenges are many. I did not expect to become a minister. For now, I just thank the people of Punjab for giving us so many seats and Arvind Kejriwal for appointing me minister. He changed the politics of the country.

“I told Kejriwal sahib to give me the toughest portfolio. I like to do hard work. Although it is a big challenge, I am mentally ready to give my 100%,” he said. added.

Calling himself “single”, Bains intends to get married, but not anytime soon. “For now, my goal is to excel. We must excel and make Kejriwal the Prime Minister”.