Meet Sangrur LS by-poll winner and pro-Khalistani Simranjit Singh Mann
ShiromaniAkaliDal (Amritsar) chief SimranjitSingh Mann won the SangrurLok Sabha by-poll by defeating Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)'s Gurmail Singh on Sunday. With this, AAP lost its lone Lok Sabha seat. After the victory, Mann courted controversy by attributing the win to his party workers and the teachings of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale—the Khalistani militant leader killed during Operation Blue Star in 1984.
- Interestingly, Mann based his campaign on the recent murder of Punjabi singer-politician Sidhu Moose Wala and late actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu, "who gave their blood for the Sikh community."
- He said that he would raise the issues of the "Indian Army committing atrocities in Kashmir...on a daily basis" and the "killing of tribal people in Bihar and Chhattisgarh calling them Naxalites" in the Parliament.
After the win, news agencies quoted Mann as saying, "It is a historic victory with which all the parties including BJP, Akali Dal, Congress, AAP will be perplexed because we have won after a long time." "We will oppose the...parties in Parliament. Now there will be protests against us because we were mocked that we will not be able to win," he added.
Born in Shimla in 1945, Mann is an alumnus of Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, and pursued graduation in Chandigarh. He is a former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, who joined the force in 1967 and held many posts in various capacities. He left the service after Operation Blue Star—a 1984 military operation carried out to remove militants hiding inside the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
As an IPS officer, Man had served as superintendent of police (vigilance), superintendent of police (headquarters), senior superintendent of police (SSP), Ferozepur, SSP Faridkot, and group commandant of Central Industrial Security Force.
Mann's father was Lieutenant Colonel Joginder Singh Mann, who was the speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in 1967. His wife Geetinder Kaur Mann is the sister of Preneet Kaur, the wife of former Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh. Though he has been arrested nearly 30 times, including on sedition charges, Mann has never been convicted.
He was elected to the Lok Sabha from Tarn Taran in 1989 and Sangrur in 1999. In 1990, he was reportedly debarred from entering the Lok Sabha carrying his sword and he failed to attend the house despite winning with a record margin of over four lakh votes. However, in 1999, he was reportedly allowed to enter the Lok Sabha with the sword.
Sangrur was considered to be an AAP bastion as incumbent Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann won the seat in 2014 and 2019. The by-poll was necessitated as the CM resigned after being elected as an MLA in the 2022 Punjab Assembly polls. Interestingly, AAP had won all the nine assembly segments—Lehra, Dirba, Barnala, Sunam, Bhadaur, Mehal Kalan, Malerkotla, Dhuri, and Sangrur—under the Sangrur parliamentary constituency.