CHANDIGARH: Luck finally found Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann on Sunday after 23 years, as he defeated AAP’s Gurmail Singh in the Sangrur Lok Sabha by-election. His win comes at a time when he was virtually written off as a political force.
Dubbed ‘Budda Jarnail’ by some of his critics, the 77-year-old is a former Indian Police Service officer, who resigned in protest against Operation Bluestar in 1984. He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Tarn Taran in 1989 and Sangrur in 1999. In 1989 election, he had won by a margin 4.6 lakh votes despite being lodged in Bhagalpur Jail. He later floundered in his efforts.
One more interesting thing about Mann is that he never entered the Parliament as he wanted to attend the House with his sword — his trademark. Mann had contested the 2022 Assembly polls from Amargarh and was defeated by AAP’s Jaswant Singh Gajjanmajra by a margin of 6,043 votes. He however kept fighting elections from Sangrur as he knew the pulse of the area and continued to lose the polls, whether it was SGPC elections, assembly or Parliament.
Before the election, he met slain singer Sidhu Moosewala’s father Balkaur Singh. The picture of Singh crying while being embraced by Mann was widely circulated. It perhaps worked for him as people trusted him as someone who feels their pain.