After losing security deposit, Khaira says he may not be cut out for electoral politics

Khaira is considered one of the tallest leaders of the Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA), which presented itself as the fourth front in Punjab politics.

Having lost his security deposit in the Lok Sabha elections to Bathinda constituency, Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who contested as a nominee of his own outfit, Punjab Ekta Party, Friday said that he may have to carry out introspection regarding his future in electoral politics.

Khaira is considered one of the tallest leaders of the Punjab Democratic Alliance (PDA), which presented itself as the fourth front in Punjab politics. PEP had fought the elections under the umbrella of PDA, which has Lok Insaaf Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Nawan Punjab Party among others as members.

Khaira, along with another Aam Aadmi Party breakaway MLA, Baldev Singh, could not dent the prospects of the AAP candidates, let alone the established parties like Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). While Khaira polled 38,199 votes in Bathinda, Baldev Singh had got only 43,932 votes in Faridkot. ON THURSDAY afternoon, the office of Punjab Ekta Party (PEP) Sukhpal Singh Khaira, was found locked.

In comparison, the official AAP candidates Baljinder Kaur and Sadhu Singh secured 1,34,398 and 1,15,319 votes from Bathinda and Faridkot, respectively. Khaira and Haldev Singh, having polled only 3.71 per cent and 4.51 per cent votes, respectively, lost their security deposits.

In a video message posted on his Facebook wall, a despondent Khaira not only mocked the voters for giving a mandate to Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal (Ferozepur) and his wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal (Bathinda), but also said that he would offer resignation from his post of the acting president of the party. “It is not necessary that one has to bring change in Punjab by participating in electoral politics. I can remain in the background and make others contest elections,” he said.

Khaira recounted an ‘Akbar-Birbal’ joke through which he made the statement that the conscience of the people of Punjab had not awakened sufficiently. “This is why they have again voted for those who had been responsible for beating and thrashing them and putting them through hardships,” he said.

“I would now be working to ensure that PEP, LIP and Dr Gandhi’s party come under a common flag. I shall not be accepting any official position in such a set up,” he added.

In the results declared Thursday, the only credit worthy performance was by Paramjeet Kaur Khalra, the PEP candidate from Khadoor Sahib, who had an impressive tally of 2,14,489 votes (20.52 per cent of the total polled). In comparison, Bibi Jagir Kaur of SAD got 3,19,137 votes while the winner Jasbir Singh Dimpa of Congress got 4,59,710 votes.

While the poll results of PEP were sub-par for most part, the other constituent members of PDA-Simarjeet Singh Bains of LIP and the BSP candidates from Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and Anandpur sahib also put up an impressive performance.

Simarjeet Bains received 3,07,423 votes as compared to 2,99,435 votes of the SAD candidate Maheshinder Singh Grewal. Congress candidate Ravneet Singh Bittu who won the seat polled 3,07,423 votes.

Among BSP candidates, Vikram Singh Sodhi from Anandpur Sahib got 1,46,441 votes, Khushi Ram in Hoshiarpur got 1,28,564 votes and Balwinder Kumar in Jalandhar polled 2,04,783 votes.

Invites Sidhu to join hands with PDA

Sukhpal Khaira urged Punjab minister Navjot Sidhu to quit Congress and join hands with the PDA. “Now that he has raised the issue of the friendly match between the two feudal dynasties of Punjab, Sidhu should not go back on his word. In any case Capt Amarinder will not let him remain in Congress. He is welcome to join us and work for the betterment of Punjab,” he said.

(With inputs from Raaki Jagga in Bathinda)

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