Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Badal loyalist Jagir Kaur is the face of SAD in Khadoor Sahib
For Jagir Kaur, the three-time MLA from Bholath in Kapurthala district and former Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president, the 2019 Lok Sabha elections are her first parliamentary polls. She is the Shiromani Akali Dal candidate from Khadoor Sahib seat.Updated: Apr 17, 2019 16:25 IST
The crisis-hit Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chose Badal loyalist Jagir Kaur to lead the party march in Khadoor Sahib, long known as a Panthic stronghold, with the Taksali trio of Majha, particularly sitting MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, turning rebel and having floated a breakaway faction.
But for the three-time MLA from Bholath in Kapurthala district and former Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president, this will be the first parliamentary election and that too in Punjab’s largest constituency that straddles all three regions of the state — Majha, Doaba and Malwa.
Also, she does not hail from the segment.
Born and brought up at Bhatnura Lubana village in Jalandhar district in a lower middle class family, Kaur is known as an aggressive Akali face, having courted several controversies.
In 1977, she did her graduation, completed B.Ed a year later and worked as a mathematics teacher in a government school for 11 years.
In 1980, she got married to Charanjit Singh, the son of Harnam Singh, the head of Dera Sant Baba Prem Singh Murale Wale at Begowal in Kapurthala.
The couple had two daughters — Harpreet and Rajneet Kaur. In the wake of her husband’s death in 1983, she took it upon herself to head the dera in 1987. Being the dera chief, she held a considerable sway in Lubana Sikh-dominant Bholath assembly segment. She formally joined the Akali Dal in 1995 and got elected as an SGPC member in 1996.
Soon, party chief Parkash Singh Badal promoted her in the party hierarchy. In 1997, she won from Bholath on SAD ticket and was appointed a minister.
She benefited from a political tussle between Badal and then SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra whose removal paved the way for her to become the first woman president of the apex gurdwara body in March 1999. She bagged the top SGPC post again in 2004.
But soon after assuming the charge, she got embroiled in a controversy by supporting women’s demand for being allowed to conduct ‘kirtan’ inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple.
In 2000, she was forced to resign as SGPC chief after she was accused of murdering her daughter Harpreet. She retained the Bholath seat in 2002 but lost it to Congress candidate Sukhpal Singh Khaira five years later.
In 2012, Kaur won from Bholath and was inducted in the Badal cabinet but her tenure was short-lived since she was convicted of kidnapping, conspiring and forcibly aborting her daughter’s foetus just 17 days after her swearing-in. She was acquitted by Punjab and Haryana High Court in the case recently.
“My life has been full of struggles but I never surrendered in the middle of unfavourable circumstances. The up and downs have only made me stronger. Contesting the Lok Sabha elections is a new challenge for me and I will emerge victorious with grace of guru,” she said.
First Published: Apr 17, 2019 13:26 IST