Amritsar: Taranjit Singh Sandhu plays ‘Samundri’ card to fight ‘outsider’ tag : The Tribune India

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Amritsar: Taranjit Singh Sandhu plays ‘Samundri’ card to fight ‘outsider’ tag

Banks on Panthic background

Amritsar: Taranjit Singh Sandhu plays ‘Samundri’ card to fight ‘outsider’ tag

A new hoarding of BJP candidate Taranjit Singh Sandhu ‘Samundri’ in Amritsar. Vishal Kumar



Tribune News Service

GS Paul

Amritsar, May 8

To counter the “outsider” tag, BJP candidate Taranjit Singh Sandhu has started using “Samundri” as a suffix in his name.

In new hoardings, Sandhu has highlighted his family and the Panthic background with a tagline “Amritsar Di Pukar…Sandhu Samundri Is Vaar”.

Sandhu’s family hails from Rai Buri Ka village of Tarn Taran, which was earlier part of Amritsar district.

The 1988-batch Indian Foreign Service officer who retired in February started his political debut from Amritsar after joining the BJP. This had created ripples not just among the rivals, but also within the BJP camp.

“If a soldier who served at the border comes to his home, will he be called an outsider? Likewise, I served the foreign services for 38 years and have come back to my roots. The Opposition leaders who have no development plans for Amritsar have no reason to criticise and term me as an outsider,” said Sandhu.

Sandhu is the grandson of Teja Singh Samundri, who played a major role in the Gurdwara Reform Movement and the Civil Disobedience Movement. He was the founder member of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and in recognition of his services to the Sikh Panth, the SGPC named its headquarters in Amritsar as “Teja Singh Samundri Hall”.

Sarchand Singh, media advisor to Sandhu, added that “Samundri” has lately been used after his (Sandhu) name as an introduction to his family bond.

“Before Partition, Sandhu’s grandfather Teja Singh’s father Deva Singh served in the armed forces. When he retired, he was awarded around 25 acres of land for his distinguished service at Samundri area located in Punjab province of Pakistan. During those times, instead of mentioning caste after the name, the introduction was done by adding the area the person belonged to. Thereafter, Teja Singh wrote Samundri after his name. He gained limelight during the Gurdwara Reform Movement. His son, Bishen Singh, (Sandhu’s father) also continued to write his name as Bishan Singh Samundri,” said Sarchand.

Sandhu’s father Bishan Singh Samundri was the founding Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak University and also served as the principal of Khalsa College in Amritsar. His mother Jagjit Kaur Sandhu completed her doctorate in the US and returned to serve as the principal of the Government College for Women, Amritsar. He owns a house christened as “Samundri House” in Green Avenue in Amritsar, which has now been transformed into a poll “war room”.

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