Indira Gandhi assassin’s son Sarabjit Singh Khalsa ahead in Faridkot

The 59-year-old Khalsa, who is contesting as an independent candidate, has repeatedly justified his father Beant Singh’s role in the assassination of Indira Gandhi, calling it a reprisal for the “atrocities” committed during Operation Blue Star in 1984.

Sarabjit Singh Khalsa, the son of Beant Singh – one of the assassins of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, has taken a formidable lead in Punjab’s Faridkot Lok Sabha constituency as counting of votes progressed on Tuesday.

As per the latest trends, Khalsa is ahead of his nearest rival by a staggering margin of nearly 48,000 votes, in what has emerged as one of the most surprising storylines of these general elections.

Khalsa’s campaign narrative has struck a chord with a significant section of rural voters in the region. He has centred his message around the idea that his father’s actions in 1984 were an act of “avenging” the military operation ordered by Indira Gandhi against the Akal Takht – one of Sikhism’s most revered shrines.

This emotive pitch seems to have resonated deeply, with Khalsa gaining widespread support across numerous villages, many of which extended invitations to him during the campaign trail, eager to lend an ear to his provocative rhetoric.

The 59-year-old Khalsa, who is contesting as an independent candidate, has repeatedly justified his father Beant Singh’s role in the assassination of Indira Gandhi, calling it a reprisal for the “atrocities” committed during Operation Blue Star in 1984.

Beant Singh was among her close security personnel who gunned down the then Prime Minister in the aftermath of the military action.

While Khalsa’s surge has sent shockwaves across the political spectrum, experts warn that his rising popularity could potentially reignite the embers of the Khalistan movement, which had once sought to create a separate Sikh homeland.

As the counting progresses, all eyes are now on the final tally to see if Khalsa is able to sustain his lead and secure an unlikely victory – one that would undoubtedly be viewed as a polarizing mandate by many.