New Delhi: Leading by a record margin of over 5.5 lakh votes, singer-turned-politician Hans Raj Hans is all set to get third time lucky in his political career and is poised to clinch the North West Delhi seat.
Hans made his political debut with Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and contested the Lok Sabha elections from Jalandhar in 2009, but faced defeat.
He later shifted his allegiance to Congress but quit the party after his name was dropped at the eleventh hour in favour of former Punjab Congress chief Shamsher Singh Dullo for Rajya Sabha.
"I have always been overwhelmed with the response I got from public as an artist. I am glad the same has happened with me as a politician too. The Modi wave certainly helped as people have faith in his leadership and the work done by his government," he told PTI.
If Hans's victory is spectacular, his nomination was no less dramatic. He was named the party candidate from the seat barely few hours before the deadline for filing of nomination process ended.
The Padma Shree awardee, who loves to be known as a Sufi and a 'fakir', emerged as a surprise candidate on the North West Delhi seat, dislodging sitting BJP MP Udit Raj as official party candidate, forcing the latter to rebel and join the Congress.
Locked in a triangular contest with AAP's Gugan Singh and Congress' Rajesh Lilothia, Hans was branded as an "outsider" in the constituency by the opposition parties. He, however, had dismissed the outsider tag as reflection of opposition's "insecurity".
"Dubbing me as an outsider reflects opposition candidates' insecurity. I have a temporary residence here, I will have permanent accommodation soon. I am no stranger to this part of the city, I have frequented it performing as a singer," he had told PTI in an interview earlier.
Popular for his famous "dil tote tote ho gaya" number, Hans had also used his songs during campaigning to woo the voters.
The 57-year-old Sufi singer was also at the centre of controversy ahead of elections when the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged that he had converted to Islam in 2014 and claimed that he cannot contest the election from North West Delhi as the seat is reserved for the Scheduled Caste (SC).
Northwest Delhi, had the least number of candidates in the fray in Delhi with only 10 persons testing electoral waters and maximum number of voters.