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In a first, Sikh candidate tries luck on KP’s general seat

PESHAWAR: Reportedly disregarded by political parties, a Sikh candidate in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa capital decided to independently contest the general elections scheduled on July 25.

Well-known rights activist Radesh Singh ‘Tony’ decided to contest polls from PK-75 after no party considered him for a ticket. He’s not a new face to the locals of the constituency. Singh was elected to the local government after he successfully contested for a minority general councillor seat. He won the seat with a huge margin, securing 1,499 votes against his rival who only managed 280 votes.

Peshawar Sikh candidate
The election poster of Radesh Singh ‘Tony’.

The candidate has resigned from his seat after he decided to contest the general elections.

In a recent interview, Sindh said members of their community were assigned tickets for reserved seats by political parties,” he said while making an indirect reference Sardar Suran Singh who held a reserved seat in the provincial assembly on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ticket.

Singh says his manifesto is simple, which is “to work for the locals to solve their problems.”

Radesh Tony said he was thankful to the electorate of the constituency for giving positive response to his election campaign.

He said that he is carrying door-to-door campaign and people assuring him support.

He explains that he decided to contest the elections as an independent candidate and ‘try my luck’ because no one has given a party ticket to a minority member for a general, non-reserved seat so far.

He said: “I am probably the first minority member in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) who is contesting the elections as an independent candidate.”

He conceded that contesting an election was not an easy task in Pakistan as it requires the expenditure of a lot of money. Singh says he is fortunate that he has some friends who are willing to back him financially in the polls.

In the general elections of 2002, the seat where from Singh is contesting was won by Mohammad Ibrahim Khan Qasmi, who was then contesting as independent candidate, while Aqil Shah won on ANP ticket in 2008, but in 2013 the constituency was grabbed by Arif Yousaf of PTI.

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