‘I am no less Panthic than other candidates, Sikhs are with BJP’: Manjit Singh Manna Mianwind : The Tribune India

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‘I am no less Panthic than other candidates, Sikhs are with BJP’: Manjit Singh Manna Mianwind

The Tribune Interview: Manjit Singh Manna Mianwind, BJP Khadoor Sahib candidate

‘I am no less Panthic than other candidates, Sikhs are with BJP’: Manjit Singh Manna Mianwind

Manjit Singh Manna Mianwind, BJP Khadoor Sahib candidate



When all other poll candidates are advocating resumption of trade ties with Pakistan through the Punjab border, BJP candidate Manjit Singh Manna Mianwind from Khadoor Sahib Lok Sabha constituency has been claiming that cross-border smuggling of drugs and drone movement should be a major concern. He terms himself a “Gareeb Sikh”, who was unfit for SAD, being run by elite dictators. Manna who switched over to the BJP from Akali Dal in 2022, is a three-time SAD MLA. He represented Khadoor Sahib Vidhan Sabha seat twice, in 2002 and 2007, and won once from Baba Bakala, in 2012. After joining the BJP, Manna contested from Baba Bakala assembly constituency but failed to succeed.

Khadoor Sahib is now a hot seat and instead of local issues, the candidates are contesting the election on Panthic sentiments. On the sidelines of a busy campaign schedule, Manna took time out to speak to Charanjit Singh Teja. Excerpts from the interview:

What is the main issue in the constituency as per your pinion?

Khadoor Sahib is a border area constituency. We are facing narco-terrorism from Pakistan. The police recover drones and drugs regularly. Drug addiction is one of the major issues in the constituency. Villages in the border area witness poverty and unemployment. It is also linked with drug addiction. I have been visiting the villages where people reside in mud houses and spend nights under the tarpaulin. I am contesting on the issue of employment. Unemployed youth get easily trapped in drugs. I am not against the trade with Pakistan but drug smuggling can’t be tolerated at any cost.

Khadoor Sahib is a border area constituency. We are facing narco-terrorism from Pakistan. The police recover drones and drugs regularly. Drug addiction is one of the major issues in the constituency. Villages in the border area witness poverty and unemployment.

You are facing protests from farmers who reach your venue and oppose you and your party. What is your take on farmers’ agitation and their call against BJP candidates?

I am always with the farmers and never speak a single word against them. They are agitated over some issues and I always welcome their representatives to come, sit and talk them out. Even I support some of their demands, which are justified. But it is unconstitutional to give a call saying they will not allow BJP candidates to enter the villages and set up polling booths on election day.

You shifted your loyalty from Shiromani Akali Dal to Bharatiya Janata Party. What is the difference you observed in both parties?

SAD is being run by an elite family. Earlier, there was great respect for the activists in the party and their leaders were humble. Now, the Badal family is running it as a dictatorship. Being a “Gareeb Sikh”, I was a misfit in SAD, being run by elite dictators. As far as the BJP is concerned, they respect the cadre.

Apart from SAD, AAP and Congress, Independent candidate Amritpal Singh is also in the field. Who is your competitor?

I am a three-time MLA and dedicated to the service of the people. Being a humble Sikh, I am not in competition with anyone. The candidates contesting on Panthic issues are not more Panthic than me. Even the BJP and Prime Minister Modi are making great efforts for the Sikhs. They opened the Kartarpur corridor, observed martyrdom day of Guru Teg Bahadur all over, started observing Bal Divas and ended the black list of Sikhs. Sikhs are with the BJP!

#BJP #Khadoor Sahib #Lok Sabha #Pakistan #Sikhs


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