In SAS Nagar, Independents hold the key

  • Jyotsna Jalali, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Feb 28, 2015 11:10 IST

The Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (SAD-BJP) combine are holding closed-door meetings with Independents who hold the key to elect the first mayor of SAS Nagar.

The SAD-BJP combine won 23 seats, Congress 14 and 13 seats went to Independents. Kulwant Singh, who was elected from ward number 49, claims to have the support of 11 Independents. Singh formed a group of SAD rebels who contested the municipal corporation elections as Independents. Singh also contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Fatehgarh Sahib on an SAD ticket. “We are yet to decide whom to support,” said Singh.

The SAD-BJP combine needs the support of three Independents to reach the magic figure of 26. Though SAD leaders, including Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, say they are confident of getting a majority, the Independents share a different view.

Independent candidate Manjit Sethi, who won from ward number 14, says: “Though I am an Akali to the core, but I am not in tune with SAD leaders here. Remove Ramoowalia and I am ready to support the SAD.”

The Congress, on the other hand, is keeping its cards close to its chest. Congress MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu said: “We are open to support from Independents. If they have a deserving candidate for the mayor’s post, we are ready to support them.”

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