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Punjab candidate who cried about losing family’s vote is now a viral TikTok celebrity

Neetu Shattranwala emerged on social media timelines Thursday, when he told a TV channel that he'd got five votes despite having a family of nine.

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Chandigarh: Independent Jalandhar candidate Neetu Shattranwala, who went viral Thursday with his tearful on-camera rant about losing his family’s votes, now has an army of fans on social media portal TikTok.

As of Saturday morning, various hashtags on his name had already got over 20 lakh views on TikTok. One of them, #neetushattrawalla, had 8.8 lakh views, while another, #neetushatranwala, had 5 lakh.

TikTok is a China-based app that allows users to make short videos. It has gained a feverish fan following all over the world, with users tapping its various features to make original content as well as mimic celebrities.

Shattranwala first emerged on social media timelines Thursday, when results of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls were announced. In an interview to a news channel, crying, he said he had received just five votes even though nine of his family members had voted.

The residents of his colony, he added, had sworn by “mata Chintpurni” that they would vote for him. Saying faulty EVMs were probably responsible for his vote-count, he claimed, “I will never contest elections ever again.”

Going viral

Shattranwala’s fears ultimately proved premature, because he had notched 856 votes by the time counting ended. By then, however, his emotional rant had already gone viral, inspiring hundreds of TikTok users to copy him in different ways.

A TikTok user even suggested that he should change his name from Neetu Shattranwala to Neetu “5votanwalla [one with five votes]”.

Such was the flood that, by Friday evening, a counter campaign was under way on TikTok where users were releasing videos asking others not to make fun of the “poor man”.

Shattranwala, however, is elated at the turn of events. After his interview went viral, locals started approaching him for pictures and selfies, with several TikTok users flocking to his house for videos.

In an interview to a TikTok user Thursday evening, he said he was grateful that he had become so popular on social media. “May mata Chintpurni make their wishes come true,” a beaming Shattranwala said of his social media imitators.

Also read: Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok to have separate link detailing expenditure on poll ads

‘Just wanted a photo with the MP’

A resident of Jalandhar, Shattranwala owns a small shutter-fabrication business.

“I decided to contest the elections mainly to give competition to the sitting Congress MP, Santokh Chaudhary,” he told ThePrint. “I used to be very fond of him. Once I met him and requested a picture with him. But he pushed my mobile down,” Shattranwala added.

“I felt very bad and decided that I will contest the elections against him, become an MP and then make sure that I click pictures with everyone,” he said.

“I am so glad that I have become so well-known despite losing,” he said. “I am grateful to Chaudhary… It was because of him I decided to contest in the first place.”

Chaudhary has retained Jalandhar in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Also read: Tik Tok gets relief after Madras High Court lifts ban temporarily

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