Liquor baron Shiv Lal Doda, accused in the murder of a Dalit man, will contest the assembly election from Abohar segment again as an independent candidate from inside the jail. Doda, who finished second to Congress leader Sunil Jakhar in 2012, was permitted by a Fazilka district court to be taken out of the jail by police on Friday to file his nomination for the February 4 polls.
His poll plans gained limelight last week after a raid by officials unveiled his illegal meeting with a group of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) workers and others inside the Fazilka sub-jail. Doda, better known locally as ‘Sholly’, and his co-accused nephew, Amit Doda — who will also leave the jail with him to file papers as a covering candidate — were then shifted to the Amritsar jail where they are currently lodged.
Doda’s entering the poll arena would make it a four-cornered fight in Abohar, with the Congress, BJP and the AAP in fray already. It was on Wednesday that he had sought a day’s parole for January 13 to file his papers, but the state government had opposed it. On Wednesday, additional district and sessions judge Laxman Singh gave him the permission.
In 2012, Doda, who owed allegiance to the SAD and was also considered close to leaders of SAD ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had secured more than 45,000 votes but lost to Jakhar by 9,788, while BJP nominee Vijay Laxmi Bhadoo was third and lost her deposit.
He is in jail as an alleged conspirator for the murder of Bhim Sain Tank in December 2015. His bail plea is scheduled for next hearing in the Supreme Court in February 6.