After the announcement of dissident Sheetal Singh, three-time MLA from Dharamkot of Moga district, and son-in-law of former agriculture minister Gurdev Singh Badal, to contest the election as an independent, another former Akali MLA from Dharamkot Gurdev Singh Gill has also decided to jump into the fray as an independent.
The supporters of Gill held a meeting here on Sunday where Gill announced that he would contest as an independent candidate from Faridkot constituency against the SAD-BJP candidate Paramjit Kaur Gulshan.
"I am only a worker of SAD at the moment, and not an office-bearer. I decided to contest the election as an independent on the insistence of my supporters," the ex-MLA said.
Gill was elected as MLA of Congress party from Dharamkot in 1985. "During the assembly election campaign in 2007, I had joined SAD and the then SAD president Parkash Singh Badal had assured me that the party high command would give me due honour in future soon. But while the Akali government came into power in 2007 and again in 2012, the chief minister did not provide me any position within the party as well as in the government.
"I have been a loyal soldier of the SAD for the last seven years but what did I get in return? A number of unimportant leaders have been honoured by the chief minister and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal with chairmanships and other posts within the party, but I was ignored every time," Gill added.
Gill said, "Several loyal party workers have been ignored at all stages by the party chief during the past few years. Due to this reason, the political environment has gone against the SAD-BJP alliance across the state during the past two years. So, SAD is set to face worst defeat in parliamentary elections."
Two days ago, three-time Akali MLA Sheetal Singh revolted and announced to contest Lok Sabha election as an independent against Paramjit Kaur Gulshan. Sheetal was elected MLA in 1997, 2002 and again in 2007 from Dharamkot reserve category assembly constituency, which forms part of the Faridkot Lok Sabha constituency.
Reliable sources revealed that three senior leaders of the SAD met Sheetal Singh on Sunday at his residence in Dharamkot to deliver a message from party president Sukhbir Singh Badal.