The first Sikh to lead the Indian Army, General JJ Singh on Monday made it clear that he decided to beat the retreat from the electoral battleground of Khadoor Sahib for the betterment of Punjab and the Sikh community.
SAD (Taksali), which had announced Gen JJ Singh’s candidature from Khadoor Sahib in February, on Sunday announced to withdraw its candidate in favour of Punjab Democratic Alliance’s Bibi Paramjit Kaur Khalra, wife of human rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra.
“I am not leaving the battleground rather sacrificing the seat in the interest of Punjab and the Sikh community,” said Gen JJ Singh while interacting with the media at Chandigarh a day later.
Vowing to support Bibi Khalra from Khadoor Sahib, Gen JJ Singh said that he has set an “example” by withdrawing his candidature to strengthen the third front in the state to root out the “corrupt” Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal.
“I am sacrificing my seat in the interest of Punjab and the Sikh panth (community). I do not think that I am leaving the battleground,” 73-year-old former Army chief, adding that he has decided to sacrifice the seat “from the position of strength, not from the weakness”.
He said that the “misrule” of the Congress and the Akali Dal in the State should not continue further. “We should root out these corrupt parties from Punjab,” he said.
“If (Paramjit Kaur) Khalra wins, I will consider my sacrifice worth of it,” he said.
Gen JJ Singh said that he had told the SAD (Taksali) chief Ranjit Singh Brahmpura that they should try to defeat the traditional parties — Congress and Akali Dal — at any cost. “I told him (Brahmpura) that it is important either she (Khalra) step down or she be fielded her from another seat, otherwise I was ready to sacrifice my seat. Because we were fighting each other,” he said.
He said that the political landscape changed after the name of Khalra was announced by the PDA. Moreover, the talks between the SAD (Taksali), AAP and PDA also could not materialise, he said while ruling out contesting the Lok Sabha polls from any other seat.“I am not after any post. I got many positions on merit,” he said.