Not leaving battleground, sacrificing seat for Punjab: Former Army chief J J Singh

Singh said 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.

Published: 15th April 2019 08:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th April 2019 08:07 PM   |  A+A-

Former chief of Army Staff and ex-governor Gen JJ Singh. (Photo | Twitter)


CHANDIGARH: A day after his candidature was withdrawn from the Khadoor Sahib seat by the SAD (Taksali), former Army chief General (retired) Joginder Jaswant Singh Monday said he is not leaving the battleground rather sacrificing the seat in the interest of Punjab and the Sikh community.

Vowing to support the Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA) candidate, Paramjit Kaur Khalra, from the Khadoor Sahib seat in the Lok Sabha polls, Singh said 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 (SAD).

The SAD (Taksali), the breakaway faction of the SAD, had on Sunday evening announced that it was withdrawing Singh's candidature from the Khadoor Sahib seat in favour of PDA candidate Khalra, who is the wife of human rights activist Jaswant Singh Khalra.

"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" Singh, 73, told the reporters here. "I sacrificed the seat from the position of strength, not from the weakness," the ex-Army chief asserted.

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He said 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," Singh said. "If (Paramjit Kaur) Khalra wins, I will consider my sacrifice worth of it," he said.

Singh said 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," the ex-Army chief said. 

He said 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 added. Singh ruled out contesting the Lok Sabha polls from any other seat.

"I am not after any post. I got many positions on merit," he said. The Akali Dal has fielded Bibi Jagir Kaur, while the Congress has given the ticket to Jasbir Singh Dimpa from the Khadoor Sahib seat. The Aam Aadmi Party has fielded party's youth wing leader Manjinder Singh Sidhu.

The former Army chief had unsuccessfully contested the Patiala seat in 2017 assembly polls against Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on a SAD ticket. He was the first Sikh to be appointed as the Army chief in 2005. He had also been the governor of Arunachal Pradesh.

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