Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Amritpal Singh decided to contest election at instance of 'sangat', says father Tarsem Singh

With Amritpal Singh throwing his hat in the ring, the Khadoor Sahib seat, which is known as a 'Panthic' seat is back in the spotlight.
Last Updated : 07 May 2024, 09:49 IST
Last Updated : 07 May 2024, 09:49 IST

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Chandigarh: Amritpal Singh was reluctant to fight elections but changed his mind at the instance of the 'sangat' or community, which wanted him to enter the poll fray, Tarsem Singh, the father of the radical Sikh preacher said.

Amritpal Singh, the chief of the 'Waris Punjab De' outfit, who is lodged in Assam's Dibrugarh jail under the National Security Act, will fight the Lok Sabha polls from the Khadoor Sahib parliamentary constituency in Punjab as an Independent, his lawyer has said earlier.

With Amritpal Singh throwing his hat in the ring, the Khadoor Sahib seat, which is known as a 'Panthic' seat is back in the spotlight.

"He (Amritpal) did not want to contest. But he said if it (contesting poll) is the decision of the 'sangat' then he would change his decision and bow before the 'sangat'," said Tarsem Singh.

It was Amritpal Singh's legal counsel Rajdev Singh Khalsa who had first claimed that the preacher would contest from the Khadoor Sahib seat as an independent.

Amritpal Singh was arrested in April last year and the stringent National Security Act was invoked against him. He along with nine of his associates is currently lodged in Dibrugarh jail in Assam.

Amritpal Singh's father told PTI that they will raise the issue of the release of 'Bandi Singhs' or Sikh prisoners who have completed their terms as well as the drug menace in Punjab.

"The campaigning will be done by the people," he said, adding that they were getting immense support.

"Wherever we are going, people are supporting him. Though the government tried hard to malign him, people are with him," claimed Tarsem Singh.

He said Paramjit Kaur Khalra, the wife of human rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra, will lead Amritpal Singh's poll campaign.

Paramjit Kaur Khalra had unsuccessfully contested the Khadoor Sahib seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Meanwhile, Amritpal Singh's candidature from the Khadoor Sahib seat has got the support of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) which withdrew its candidate from the constituency.

Amritpal Singh, who styled himself after slain Khalistani militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, was arrested in Moga's Rode village on April 23 last year following an over a month-long manhunt.

The Khalistan sympathiser had escaped the police net in Jalandhar district on March 18, switching vehicles and changing appearances.

The Punjab Police had launched the crackdown after the February 23 Ajnala incident last year in which Amritpal Singh and his supporters, some of them brandishing swords and guns, broke through barricades and barged into the police station on the outskirts of Amritsar city, and clashed with police for the release of Lovepreet Singh Toofan, one of his aides.

He and his associates were booked under several criminal cases related to spreading disharmony among classes, attempting to murder, attacking police personnel and creating obstructions in the lawful discharge of duty by public servants.

The Khadoor Sahib Lok Sabha constituency, which is called a 'Panthic' seat, came into existence in 2008. It comprises nine assembly constituencies -- Jandiala, Tarn Taran, Khem Karan, Patti, Khadoor Sahib, Baba Bakala, Kapurthala, Sultanpur Lodhi and Zira.

The Shiromani Akali Dal has fielded former MLA Virsa Singh Valtoha while the Aam Aadmi Party has named Transport Minister Laljit Singh Bhullar and the BJP's candidate is Manjit Singh Manna Mianwind from the seat.

The Congress has fielded former MLA Kulbir Singh Zira from this seat.

SAD's Rattan Singh Ajnala won the seat in the 2009 general elections while Akali nominee Ranjit Singh Brahmpura clinched the seat in 2014.

Published 07 May 2024, 09:49 IST

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