After the announcement of the Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) candidate from Faridkot parliamentary constituency on Monday, now there are two retired teachers in the fray, Parmjeet Kaur Gulshan, sitting Faridkot MP and Sadhu Singh of AAP, a retired college lecturer of English.
Unlike the SAD candidate, who has won two parliamentary elections earlier, the AAP candidate Sadhu Singh, 73, is a political greenhorn, but is well known in intellectual, poetic and educational circles.
Born in 1941 in Manuke village of Moga district, Sadhu Singh comes from the lower social strata of society. "My father was a weaver and I have myself had worked as a weaver when I was young," Sadhu Singh said while talking to HT at his residence after his name was announced by the party.
Sadhu Singh rose to the position of a college lecture of English due to his sheer hard work,. "I had joined as a draftsman in the irrigation department in 1961 in Chandigarh, but continued my studies in the evening college of Punjab University there, from which I finally earned my Master's in English," he said.
"Then I joined as a college lecturer at government Brijindra college in 1971 and taught English for about 28 years. I retired in 1999," he said. After retirement, he joined private KK Marvaha Girls College as principal, he added.
He said he had never worked in any political party before joining AAP last month."I was attracted by ideas and policies of the AAP, especially its campaign against corruption. As I am an intellectual and have vastly read about Indian political system, I feel the common man is suffering under the present system," he said.
"The so-called development claimed by other parties is defective as it mostly confined to only a few because the economy has been monopolised by a few. There is no equal distribution of the economic growth and common man is not happy with it. This kind of growth is actually morbid and very destructive," he says.
He is confident of full support from all AAP workers. "Contesting elections for us is totally different. While others depend on money and other allurements, we have ideas to tell the masses how the system can be improved," said Sadhu Singh.
He has been living here for a long time. His son is an advocate and daughter a doctor. But, it would not be an easy fight for the AAP candidate with the sitting MP in the fray. Congress may also field its candidate from Faridkot.
Faridkot parliamentary constituency has nine assembly segments, 3 in Faridkot district, 4 in Moga, 1 Giddarbaha of Muktsar and Rampura Phull of Bathinda.