In yet another jolt to the royal family of Patiala, one of its former loyalists, Deepinder Singh Dhillon, is all set to join the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
Dhillon admitted to Hindustan Times that he had made up his mind to say quits to the Congress and the royal family.
"The Congress has never reciprocated to my dedication and work for the party. My supporters are forcing me to teach a lesson to those who denied me the ticket in the last elections. I am just following their wishes, as they are my support base," he said.
Ruing the decision to join the Congress, Dhillon said, "I made a mistake to leave my career. I would have been a high court judge by now. It's time to correct things. Hopefully, this time round the luck will favour me."
Dhillon informed that he was already holding meetings with his supporters and telling them to be ready for the change. "Whenever and wherever I join, I will join without any precondition," he said.
Incidentally, Dhillon had played a major role in the third consecutive victory of Preneet Kaur, minister of state for external affairs, from Patiala in 2009.
It is believed that SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal had decided to rope in Dhillon since he had a good mass base in Dera Bassi, Rajpura and Patiala Rural areas. Dhillon would be a prize catch for Sukhbir who had given a major blow to Captain Amarinder Singh by breaking his family during the assembly polls.
Malwinder Singh, the brother of Punjab Congress chief Amarinder, had joined the Akali Dal after he was denied the ticket from Samana assembly segment. The ticket was instead allotted to Amarinder's son Raninder Singh.
Dhillon had turned rebel after being denied ticket in the last assembly elections. Fighting as an independent, he had secured 52,000 votes from the Dera Bassi seat, while the official Congress candidate's security was forfeited.
Dhillon was deputy advocate general in the Badal-led government in 1997, when Amarinder made him join the Congress.
Over the years he worked closely with the royal family. He was expelled from the party in 2012 after he contested against the official Congress candidate.
Preneet had reportedly visited Dhillon's house about a fortnight back, but was failed to pacify him. She was not available for comments, but sources said the party was trying hard to woo back Dhillon.