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HT Correspondent HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Sangrur, March 13, 2014
Giving a new angle to the triangular contest, two-time MLA from Dirba and sitting Congress in-charge of Amargarh segment Surjeet Dhiman has announced to contest the coming Lok Sabha election from Sangrur parliamentary seat, independently.
"Yes I have decided to contest the coming election from Sangrur as an independent candidate," Dhiman told Hindustan Times over phone, adding, "the decision has been taken on the demand of my supporters and family members, who insisted me to contest the coming election."

When asked about any pressure from any leader or political party, which persuaded him to contest the polls as his move may go in favour of SAD's Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, he said, "In a democracy, it is the right of every citizen to contest polls, I have followed the directions of my supporters and family members. I will contest the elections against Dhindsa also."

"I had also contested the 2002 assembly polls independently. This time also, I will fight the election not to favour anybody, but on issues of unemployment and development of Sangrur," he added.

He, however, refused to say anything on which party he will support if he won the polls, saying "the decision will be taken after the results."

Though, Dhiman might be new for people of other parliamentary segments falling in the constituency, but his sudden decision is likely to affect poll prospects of the sitting Congress MP Vijay Inder Singla, who is facing tough contest from Dhindsa.

When contacted, Singla said, "Everybody knows about his political status and aspirations, but this time he has ditched the Congress party, which had given him party ticket during the last two assembly elections"

On whether Dhiman's candidature will impact his vote bank due to polarisation of Congress' votes, Singla said, "I am fighting the election on the issue of development projects, that I brought from the Centre, despite opposition of the SAD government, I don't think that anybody can divert votes against development."

It may be recalled here that Dhiman had begun his political career in 2002 by successfully contesting the Punjab assembly elections from Dhirba assembly seat, then in 2007 assembly elections, he again contested the polls from Dhirba on the Congress ticket and won.

But during the last assembly elections, the Congress again fielded him from Amargarh, as Dhirba seat was reserved for an SC candidate.