CHANDIGARH: Former Punjab minister Gulzar Singh Ranike will contest from the crucial Faridkot Lok Sabha seat on Shiromani Akali Dal
Ranike who is a Majibh Sikh, a dominant caste among Punjab's dalit Sikhs, is the president of SAD's schedule caste wing. Ranike is a four-time MLA from Attari (reserved) seat in Amritsar. He was a minister twice in the SAD-BJP government in 2007 and 2012.
Faridkot seat assumes significance as three villages (Bargari, Behbal Kalan and Jawaharsinghwala) where the sacrilege incident of 2015 took place fall under this constituency.
With this announcement, the SAD has so far declared seven candidates out of the ten seats which it will contest in the state.
Ranike will be up against Congress' Mohammad Sadiq- a sufi singer, sitting MP Sadhu Singh, Aam Aadmi Party's candidate, and Master Baldev Singh of the Punjabi Ekta Party. Baldev Singh had resigned from AAP some time back.
The SAD will contest on 10 out of the total 13 seats in the state, while its ally BJP will fight on the remaining three.