Simranjit Singh Mann, a pro-Khalistani leader, is the talk of the town after he won the crucial Sangrur Lok Sabha bypoll defeating AAP’s Gurmel Singh Ghrachon by 5,822 votes. His electoral victory has become the hot topic because the constituency was AAP’s stronghold and the ruling party faced its first defeat just three months after coming to power with a massive mandate in the state assembly elections.
But soon after Simranjit Mann’s victory, talks have been doing the rounds that now extremist forces will get active in the state.
However, Jaswant Singh Cheema, Ludhiana district president of SAD(Amritsar), said, “We are a party which respects all religions. Throughout the poll campaign, we got support of people from all walks of life. A few people spread misconceptions about us. One temple was demolished in Bhikhiwind area about two decades ago during the SAD-BJP regime, and our leaders got the temple reconstructed. We are against injustice and not against any religion. Hence people need to understand the ideology of our party.”
Simranjit Mann said, “Why should extremism, terrorism and radical forces be associated with a law abiding citizen? I am a constitutionalist and a peace loving man, and have only worked against oppression, and for the people of our state.”
Subscriber Only Stories
It needs to be mentioned that throughout the poll campaign, Simranjit Mann had depicted a picture of getting response from Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and even Hindus. His roadshows had participation of people from all religions.
On June 20 morning, slogans in favour of Khalistan had appeared on the walls of Mata Shri Kali Devi temple to which
Simranjit Mann had said, “Political parties want to defame us with such slogans, but wise people will not fall for it. They know that we are the only party that can talk about public issues without any fear.”
Simranjit Mann said, “With this electoral victory, now repercussions will be felt in the whole world and in India’s political circle as to how a small party defeated AAP in its own turf. Everyone was laughing at me then, but today I am having the last laugh.”
Dillbagh Singh Patti, Tarn Taran district president of SAD(Amritsar), said, “Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema had said that Simranjit Mann would undergo the ignominy of forfeiting his security deposit, while Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann in his poll campaign speeches had said Simranjit Mann was a ‘chala hua kartoos (dead cartridge). Now, the two of them will have to eat crow.”
Jaswant Cheema said, “People of all faiths had contributed to our victory. Now, those spreading misinformation about us will sit quiet as our agenda is welfare of the people, as Simranjit Mann Saab has already stated – ‘the sun gives equal sunshine to a house of Muslim as well as a Brahmin’.”
After winning the polls, Simranjit Mann had said that he would take up the issue of export of wheat to Pakistan via Wagah border. Also, during the poll campaign, he had protested the Centre’s decision to convert Panjab University into a central university.
SAD(A) leader Dillbagh Singh said, “Simranjit Mann Saab was Sangrur MP from 1999-2004 as well. Was there any problem in the state at that time? He had worked so hard for the people of Sangrur that he ended up bagging the best parliamentarian award at that time. Demand for Khalistan, a separate Sikh nation, is our constitutional right and as per a Supreme Court ruling, there is nothing wrong in raising such a demand. As we respect all religions, we got large number of Hindu votes, apart from Muslim and Sikh votes. Opposition parties are spreading misinformation about us as they are not able to accept their defeat.”
Mohd Furkhan Quereshi, Malerkotla district president of SAD(A), said, “Muslims supported Simranjit Mann Saab this time as we had tried Congress, SAD and even AAP in the past. However, in three months, we realised that the AAP government in Punjab is being ruled by Delhi. Hence we wanted a leader who had spine. Today Simranjit Mann whom the AAP leaders described as old has defeated everyone.”
Simranjit Mann said, “I have broken the back of all the national parties, including the Badal’s party. I am thankful to Sangrur for supporting me wholeheartedly. My biceps still have strength to work for the welfare of Punjab.”
In the February 2022 Vidhan Sabha elections, Simranjit Mann had unsuccessfully contested from Amargarh constituency which falls in Malerkotla district. He had lost to AAP’s Jaswant Singh Gajjanmajra by 6,043 votes.
“In Amargarh, AAP’s victory margin was not very high. Perhaps, AAP couldn’t gauge the popularity of Simranjit Mann even at that time,” said Gagandeep Singh, a resident of Amargarh, who had contested as an independent candidate in Sangrur bypoll.
Kunwar Vijay puts own govt in dock over ‘VVIP’ status to gangster Bishnoi