A former IPS officer known for his pro-Khalistan ideology Simranjit Singh Mann, who leads Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), in an exclusive interview with Divya Goyal asserts that his front is set to contest the assembly polls in 2017.
What are your plans for the Assembly polls in 2017?
SAD (A) is set to contest the polls. When you get support from the masses, it is important to convert it into a victory. Considering the overwhelming support we got during the Sarbat Khalsa, it is going be a landslide victory for us.
Which other radical fronts would be joining SAD (A) for contesting polls?
It is going to be a united third front consisting of United Akali Dal led by Mohkam Singh. We are not radicals, we are a democratic party. It is wrong to say that it would be a radical front because we are leading peaceful agitation against Badals. We would approach preachers including Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale and Panthpreet Singh for support. Dal Khalsa and Akali Dal Panch Pardhani who did not support us in Sarbat Khalsa would also be approached along with Sikhs for Justice based in US.
What’s your reaction to allegations that the SAD (A) is trying to gain political mileage from the recent panthic crisis?
We are absolutely not attempting to gain any political mileage. Innocents were killed in police firing at Faridkot and we took a stand against brutality which got massive support.
What would be your main agenda for the 2017 polls?
Getting Sikh prisoners released and working for farmers would be our priorities. We were, are and will remain committed to a separate Sikh state- Khalistan. By Khalistan, I mean a secular Khalistan where a Hindu would get equal rights and citizenship. If there is ‘Hindu’ nation and Muslim nation (Pakistan)- there has to be a Sikh nation.
What are your views on the AAP?
The AAP has allegedly used derogatory terms against our national hero Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and untill they apologise for it, there would be no talks with them for 2017.
Sarbat Khalsa is being feared as first step towards return of dark militancy period in Punjab not only by minorities like Hindus but also by Sikh community. Your comments.
Our Sarbat Khalsa was not against any religion be it Hindu, Muslim or Christian but it was against drugs, sand mafia and corruption spread by ruling Badal clan in the state. If we come to power, all religions in Punjab will have an equal say and they need not fear us.
Even Sikh community has criticized appointment of militant Jagtar Singh Hawara – accused in former CM Beant Singh assassination- as Akat Takht jathedar. Your comments.
Hawara is innocent, according to us. If Udham Singh killing General Dwyer was not wrong, so is Hawara killing Beant Singh. The deceased was responsible for brutal murders of thousands of Sikhs in name of flushing out militancy from Punjab.
After being two time MP from Tarn Taran (1989) and Sangrur (1999), will you call it your comeback after 15 years?
I did not go anywhere and continued propagating our agenda for Khalistan all these years. However, now we are once again important people as masses are with us. Badals can blame us for mischief and violence but fact is that one who wins will never create any mischief. We are in winning situation now and it will get an official stamp in 2017. I do not keep well due to heart ailment but it is not going to stop us.