Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and MP-elect from Sangrur Lok Sabha seat Simranjit Singh Mann on Sunday attributed his win to 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).
Mann built up his campaign over the recent killing of popular singer Sidhu Moosewala.
The 77-year-old MP dedicated his victory to late actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu, accused of being the key conspirator of the Red Fort violence on the Republic Day last year, and slain singer Sidhu Moosewala, who met him days ahead of his killing on May 29, “who gave their blood for the Sikh community”.
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.
Mann defeated his closest rival Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Gurmail Singh in a neck-and-neck battle by over 6,000 votes, with the former leading in the majority of the rounds, including Muslim-dominated Malerkotla Assembly seat.
Mann, 77, who unsuccessfully contested the Assembly polls in February, won the parliamentary elections from Sangrur in 1999.
With inputs from News18