Sheetal Singh, a three-time Shiromani Akali Dal MLA, who was elected from Dharamkot assembly constituency in 1997, 2002 and 2007 before it was de-reserved and ticket was given to another senior SAD leader Tota Singh after delimitation, filed his nomination papers as an independent from Faridkot parliamentary constituency on Monday.
Sheetal Singh is son-in-law of former agriculture minister Gurdev Singh Badal from Faridkot, who was a Dalit face of the party and had remained senior vice-president of SAD.
Both Sheetal Singh and Gurdev Singh had allegedly been marginalised by the SAD after 2012. Gurdev Singh Badal was defeated second time by Joginder Singh of the Congress from Jaitu (reserved) constituency in 2012 after his first defeat from Panjgrain Kalan (reserved) in 2007.
"I had been waiting for Gurdev Singh Badal to make a move in this regard as the family was marginalised by the ruling SAD. But as they did not take any step, I decided to take up the fight by contesting as independent," said Sheetal Singh after filing his nomination.
"I had resigned from the government service in 1982 to serve the party. I had been a loyal party worker for over 30 years now and worked wholeheartedly and honestly, which led to my successive victories, but unfortunately I was ignored by the party. The party did not value my honesty," he added.
Asked if Gurdev Singh Badal's family would support him, Sheetal Singh said, "It is up to them to decide whether to support me or not. I have not asked them for support. Gurdev Badal is too old to do something."