Hardliner Simranjit Mann thanks militants for Sangrur win


Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill tweeted, “Result of Sangrur, Punjab bypolls must serve as an alarm bell for all the stakeholders of Punjab.”…reports Asian Lite News

Simranjit Singh Mann, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) candidate who won the bypoll from Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s home turf Sangrur, attributed his victory to Khalistani militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and said he would raise the issues of “Indian Army’s atrocities in Kashmir” in parliament.

Mann, who defeated the Aam Aadmi Party, or AAP, candidate, said he would also flag the “killing of tribal people in Bihar and Chhattisgarh calling them Naxalites”.

The Congress expressed concern over his election, with party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeting. “Democracy lost today in Sangrur”. “Punjab can’t be pushed back in the blind alley of violence and terrorism. If what is reported is true, Democracy lost today in Sangrur,” tweeted Surjewala.

Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill tweeted, “Result of Sangrur, Punjab bypolls must serve as an alarm bell for all the stakeholders of Punjab.”

“The mandate given by people is always supreme and this time it has tipped in favour of Simranjit Singh Mann. However, Mann’s ideology has proven toxic for Punjab and our nation in the past. His Khalistani agenda is a threat to the peace and integrity of Punjab and country,” tweeted Congress’s Ravneet Singh Bittu.

Will Mann enter Parliament with Kirpan again?

In 1999 when the bespectacled public school-educated former IPS officer was elected from Sangrur, he was allowed to enter the Lok Sabha by donning the sword, his trademark.

But in 1989 when Mann, a long-time supporter of Khalistan movement who said Sikhs are not terrorists and they are fighting for a cause, was elected with a record margin of over four lakh votes from the Tarn Taran Lok Sabha seat he was debarred from entering the Lok Sabha carrying his sword and he failed to attend the House.

Mann, who built up his campaign over the recent killing of popular singer Sidhu Moosewala, attributed his win to the youth, Khalistani militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, who was killed during Operation Bluestar that was carried out by the Indian Army in June 1984 to flush out militants hiding in the Golden Temple complex, and all ‘shaheeds’ (those killed during militancy).

His close aides said that among Mann’s topmost priorities would be to secure the release of a large number of Sikh youths languishing in jails for years.

Convent educated and former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, Mann, who on Sunday defeated AAP candidate Gurmail Singh by 5,822 votes, has been critical of the Shiromani Akali Dal leadership for doing nothing for those who have been languishing in jails without any trial.

He’s also strong advocate for long-pending demands of Punjab, which include river water sharing, handing over of Punjabi speaking areas and the transfer of Chandigarh.

Three-time Member of Parliament, Mann resigned from the IPS in 1984 and from the Lok Sabha in 1990 after not being allowed to carry a sword inside Parliament.

The bypoll for Sangrur was necessitated following the resignation of Bhagwant Mann, who won the Assembly election in February from the Dhuri constituency and became the Chief Minister.

The bypoll is the first major electoral battle after the AAP’s resounding victory in the state Assembly polls.

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