Taranjit Singh Sandhu, BJP Candidate, Declares Rs 39.92 CroreAssets Worth Rs Crore

Taranjit Singh Sandhu, a former Indian diplomat, filed his nomination papers for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, declaring assets worth Rs 39.92 crore. Sandhu, accompanied by Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, promised to develop Amritsar and secure a special package from the Modi government.

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Nitish Verma
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Taranjit Singh Sandhu, BJP Candidate, Declares Rs 39.92 CroreAssets Worth Rs Crore

Taranjit Singh Sandhu, BJP Candidate, Declares Rs 39.92 CroreAssets Worth Rs Crore

Taranjit Singh Sandhu, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Amritsar, filed his nomination papers for the June 1 Lok Sabha polls on Friday, May 10. Sandhu, a former Indian diplomat, declared total assets worth Rs 39.92 crore in his poll affidavit.

Why this matters: The declaration of assets by a high-profile candidate like Sandhu sets a precedent for transparency in Indian politics, and his candidacy may influence the outcome of the Lok Sabha polls in Punjab. As a former diplomat, Sandhu's political career may also impact India's foreign policy and bilateral relations.

Sandhu, 61, was accompanied by Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar as he submitted his nomination papers. The BJP candidate held a spirited roadshow in an open jeep, joined by a multitude of supporters, with Jaishankar by his side. The procession made its way from Novelty Chowk to the District Courts.

Jaishankar lauded Sandhu's credentials, emphasizing his distinguished service to the nation and expressing confidence in his ability to represent Amritsar effectively. "He will be a good Parliament member and is a very popular diplomat. He has served the country a lot. Now the time has come to serve Amritsar," Jaishankar said. "He is held in high esteem in Delhi. You can't choose a better candidate than Taranjit Sandhu to take forward the interests of Amritsar and Punjab."

Sandhu, a native of Amritsar, recently joined the BJP in March after retiring as the Indian envoy to the United States on February 1. During his tenure as Indian Ambassador to the US, Sandhu played a pivotal role in fostering bilateral ties, including facilitating then-President Donald Trump's visit to India.

In his poll affidavit, Sandhu provided a breakdown of his assets, which include moveable assets worth Rs 10.88 crore and immoveable assets valued at Rs 29.04 crore. The affidavit also revealed that Sandhu has Rs 1.10 lakh in cash, while his spouse Reenat Sandhu has Rs 20,000. The couple's gold ornaments are valued at Rs 3.31 lakh and Rs 29.81 lakh, respectively.

Sandhu's immovable assets include agricultural land in Amritsar and residential properties in Amritsar, Gurugram, and Delhi. His spouse, Reenat Sandhu, is currently serving as the Indian Ambassador to the Netherlands. Sandhu himself holds an MA in international relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi (1984).

Sandhu comes from a distinguished family background. He is the grandson of Teja Singh Samundri, a founding member of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and a key figure in the gurdwara reform movement. His father, Bishan Singh Samundari, was the principal of Khalsa College, Amritsar, and the first Vice Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University.

Jaishankar also credited Sandhu for his efforts in reducing the blacklist of Sikh foreign nationals during his tenure as the Indian envoy to the US. In 2019, the Union government reduced the blacklist from 314 to 2, allowing 312 nationals to become eligible for Indian visas and Overseas Indian Cards. "Congress made a blacklist of Sikhs. Working against this injustice, Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi excluded many names from this list. The credit for this goes to Sandhu,"Jaishankar said.

Sandhu, in his remarks, promised to take necessary steps to ensure the development of Amritsar, promote industry and commerce, and secure a special package for the city from the Modi government. "I will get a special package approved for Amritsar from the Modi government. The city will be made clean on the pattern of Indore and infrastructure will be strengthened," Sandhu said.

Punjab will vote in a single phase on June 1 to elect 13 members to the 18th Lok Sabha. The ongoing Lok Sabhaelections, spanning from April 19 to June 1, will witness the counting of votes on June 4, encompassing the electoral journey of 543 parliamentary constituencies. A total of 95 nominations have been filed by 82 candidates for the 13 Lok Sabha