The ‘Khalistani’ leader who won huge votes even from prison

He did not or could not go out for a single day of campaigning. Khalistanist leader Amritpal Singh won the Lok Sabha elections while sitting in jail. He won from Khadur Sahib constituency in Punjab by millions of votes.

Now the question is, even if he wins the election, will he be able to take oath at all? Is it possible to represent the parliament sitting in jail?

According to Election Commission statistics on Tuesday (June 4), Amritpal got 4 lakh 4 thousand 30 votes. Kulbir Singh of Congress came second in that seat. He got 2 lakh 7 thousand 310 votes. Laljit Singh Bhullar of Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came third. He got 1 lakh 94 thousand 836 votes.

Who is Amritpal?

He is the leader of ‘Warish Punjab De’ organization. On March 18, 2023, Amritpal Singh attacked the lockup of Anjala police station near Amritsar along with his companions. Missing for several days since then.

The police searched one place after another for him. Amritpal was finally arrested on April 23 last year from Moga, Punjab. He was arrested under the National Security Act (NSA). Amritpal was later taken to Assam. He is currently in Dibrugarh Jail there.

Candidates for Lok Sabha elections

While in jail, the pro-Khalistan leader had appealed to contest the Lok Sabha elections. He also approached the court. Khadur Sahib had submitted nomination papers to the Election Commission to contest as an independent candidate from the seat.

Amritpal was mainly campaigned for by his father Tarsem Singh. His local supporters were by his side. Khadur Sahib was covered in posters of Amritpal, where he was seen wearing a bulletproof jacket and holding a sword.

Amritpal’s father claims that the people of Khadur Sahib in Punjab have come forward in support of his son. Even the entire people of Punjab stood by his son.

Amritpal’s father Tarsem mainly emphasized three points in the campaign. Amritpal’s supporters campaigned on the three issues of drug cartels in Punjab, release of all pro-Khalistan leaders from jail and protection of the Sikh entity in the country.

Amritpal played these three mantras. But the question is, can he take oath in Parliament? Although it is his constitutional right to take the oath, but since he is incarcerated, there are obstacles.

Method of swearing

Amritpal must first seek permission from the jail authorities to take the oath. He can go to the Parliament and take oath under the supervision of the authorities. But after that, the pro-Khalistan leader will have to return to jail.

After taking the oath, Amritpal must inform the Speaker of the Lok Sabha in writing that he will not be able to attend the Parliament. Whether he can remain a Member of Parliament as an absentee can be decided by voting.

However, even after winning the election, if Amritpal is found guilty and has to spend two years or more in jail, then he will lose his position as a Member of Parliament.

Source: Times of India, Anandabazar