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Fighting polls for cause of human rights, says slain activist's widow Paramjit Kaur Khera

Press Trust of India  |  Chandigarh 

Seeking to provide a non-BJP, non-alternative to voters, PDA's candidate says she is fighting elections on human rights issues and to carry on the legacy of her activist husband who was killed by police 24 years ago.

Khalra, who said her electoral fight is a signal from god, is a member of the Punjabi Ekta Party, part of the Democratic Alliance.

Her husband Khalra, who accused Police of disposing of unidentified bodies of Sikh youth gunned down in fake encounters during the militancy years in the 1990s, was picked up from his house in Khalra village in district and killed by police in 1995. Six police personnel were sentenced to life for his killing.

Contesting polls is god's signal. It was not pre-decided to fight elections, said Khalra, being projected as a panthic' (religious) face by the

The comprises the Sukhpal Singh Khaira-led Ekta Party (PEP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the (LIP), the Punjab Manch led by suspended Dharamvira Gandhi, the and the

I will raise the issue of human rights and will fight polls for the cause of human rights. The youth are dying of drugs in Punjab. Is it not a human rights issue? Khaira asked.

There have been incidents of sacrilege of religious scriptures in the state. Two youths were also killed during police firing (on anti-sacrilege protesters in Faridkot in 2015). But successive governments have been fooling people and have never bothered to address these issues, she told

The Sikh community, Khaira said, can tolerate every hardship and even bear the of their children's deaths but cannot accept the desecration of religious scriptures.

"The issue is still alive in the minds of the people, the 64-year-old said.

She makes sure to remind people of her husband's sacrifice during her campaign speeches.

Taking a swipe at the Akali Dal, Khalra said the mishandling of incidents of police firing and those related to the sacrilege of religious scriptures reduced the party to the third spot in the 2017 Assembly polls.

Khalra said she is getting an overwhelming response from the people.

People who are fed up with traditional parties and Akali Dal -- will support the third front, she said.

The (Taksali), a breakaway faction of the SAD, has withdrawn its candidate, former Gen J J Singh in favour of Khalra.

Khalra's sacrifice can never be forgotten, said (Taksali)

of the (Taksali) Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, the sitting from Khadoor Sahib, is asking the to field Khalra as Independent candidate in order to ensure support of more like-minded parties to ensure her victory in the polls.

Brahmpura has even appealed to to support Khalra from seat.

Khalra is pitted against Akali candidate, former MLA and two-time (SGPC) Bibi Jagir Kaur, and Congress' Jasbir Singh Dimpa. The has fielded its from the parliamentary constituency.

In 1999, Khalra unsuccessfully contested from the erstwhile parliamentary constituency. She was at that time a candidate of the Sarb Hind floated by the late Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

Khadoor Sahib, which was created from the erstwhile constituency following delimitation in 2008, has been a citadel of the Akali Dal.

Brahmpura defeated candidate with a margin of over one lakh votes in 2014. He joined hands with Rattan Singh Ajnala to float the (Taksali) after raising the banner of revolt against the Akali leadership.

Punjab votes on May 19, the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections. The votes will be counted on May 23.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 13 2019. 12:41 IST