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Stunning Election Victory for Bhai Amritpal Singh Shatters Indian Narrative on Khalistan: World Sikh Org

rsOTTAWA, CANADA – The stunning election victory of Bhai Amritpal Singh of the Waris Punjab De (WPD) organization has shattered the Indian narrative that support for Khalistan does not exist in Punjab.

Bhai Amritpal Singh has been elected as an independent MP from the Khadoor Sahib constituency, despite contesting the election from Dibrugarh Jail in Assam, where he is currently detained under the National Security Act. Bhai Amritpal Singh won the election with 404,430 votes—the largest margin of any candidate in Punjab, beating his closest rival by 197,120 votes.

Bhai Amritpal Singh was arrested by Indian police in April 2023 after a month-long security crackdown in Punjab, which included the suspension of internet services across the state and the detention of hundreds of Sikh youth. He came to prominence in Punjab with his successful campaign to inspire Punjabi youth to reject drugs and embrace the Sikh faith. Amritpal Singh has also been open and unapologetic in his support for Khalistan, a sovereign Sikh state, as well as highlighting discrimination against Sikhs in India.

Bhai Sarbjit Singh Khalsa, son of Shaheed Bhai Beant Singh Jee

Another independent candidate to win in Punjab was Sarabjeet Singh Khalsa, who secured 298,062 votes in the Faridkot constituency. He also contested the elections on a platform of Sikh sovereignty and human rights.

The ruling BJP did not win a single seat in Punjab and has lost its majority in the Lok Sabha.

The Indian election results also have an impact in Canada in the aftermath of the assassination of Bhai Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June 2023. In September 2023, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rose in the House of Commons to accuse India of being behind the assassination plot. During the election campaign, Modi and his Defence Minister Rajnath Singh publicly boasted that India is assassinating its opponents “in their homes,” even by crossing borders.

WSO President Danish Singh said:

“Today’s landslide election victory for Bhai Amritpal Singh has shattered the Indian narrative that Khalistan has no support within Punjab. Bhai Amritpal Singh secured the largest victory amongst all the seats in Punjab despite being detained in an Assam jail, three thousand kilometers away and not being able to campaign. These results make it clear that Khalistan has strong grassroots support in Punjab, despite people’s fear of Indian retribution for openly expressing their support. Given that India has shown no qualms in murdering Sikh activists, even in foreign countries, we request that Canada and other Western democratic countries call on India to ensure that Bhai Amritpal Singh is immediately released and no harm comes to him.”

The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is a non-profit organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of Canadian Sikhs, as well as to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights of all individuals. 

Editor’s Note: Updated/corrected vote counts based on results.eci.gov.in – as of 6/5/2024.

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