Lok Sabha election: Taksalis divided over support to Khalra from Khadoor Sahib, Brahmpura firm on JJ
Some senior Taksali leaders, including party secretary general Sewa Singh Sekhwan, are in favour of extending support to Bibi Khalra, the wife of human rights activist late Jaswant Singh, and have requested JJ Singh to withdraw his candidature from Khadoor Sahib.Updated: Mar 28, 2019 21:46 IST
Shiromani Akali Dal (Taksali) president Ranjit Singh Brahmpura on Thursday said they will not withdraw the candidature of Gen JJ Singh (retd) from the Khadoor Sahib seat in the parliamentary elections, even as some of his party leaders are keen on supporting Punjab Ekta Party (PEP) nominee Bibi Paramjit Kaur Khalra from the segment.
Some senior Taksali leaders, including party secretary general Sewa Singh Sekhwan, are in favour of extending support to Bibi Khalra, the wife of human rights activist late Jaswant Singh, and have requested JJ Singh to withdraw his candidature from Khadoor Sahib. On Thursday, party spokesperson Karnail Singh Peer Mohammad met JJ Singh in Zira to request him to withdraw his candidature in support of Khalra.
“I held a meeting with all senior members of the party and asked them not to ask JJ Singh to withdraw his candidature. He is our strongest candidate. As he fought many fights with enemies when he was the country’s army chief, his sacrifices can’t be ignored. Though Bibi Khalra is a panthic face, JJ’s contribution to the country’s army can’t be forgotten,” Brahmpura said over phone.
“There are some NRIs in our party who want to support Bibi Khalra, but I will not allow this. Also, I have also made it clear to the party rank and file that we will not withdraw our candidates from the Anandpur Sahib seat,” he said.
“It is Sukhpal Singh Khaira (PEP chief) who is trying to mislead some of our party workers. His motive is to collect election funds from abroad on the name of Bibi Khalra. When Gurcharan Singh Tohra was SAD president, Bibi Khalra was given a chance to fight the Lok Sabha election in Punjab, but she managed to secure only 31,000 votes,” he added.
Gen JJ Singh said, “Sekhwan had said the party should support Bibi Khalra from the segment. But he has made his mind not to support her after Brahmpura directed him. I request Bibi Khalra to withdraw her candidature as my name was announced by SAD (Taksali) 25 days before the announcement of her candidature. “The target of both of us is to fight against the SAD and the Congress. She should contest the 2022 assembly elections.”
Sekhwan could not be reached for comments.
Jaswant Khalra was abducted from his home and killed by some policemen in 1995 after he had accused the force of cremating unidentified bodies of Sikh men killed in fake encounters. Four police officers were sentenced to life in 2007 for his murder.
First Published: Mar 28, 2019 21:46 IST