The People's Party of Punjab (PPP) has decided to leave 15-20% seats for candidates from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), who would contest as Independents in the upcoming municipal corporation elections in Punjab.
Though the BSP has announced not to contest the elections, it has allowed many of its local leaders to enter the fray as Independents, Punjab BSP incharge and Rajya Sabha member Avtar Singh Karimpuri told Hindustan Times.
"Our president (Mayawati) has already declared that candidates can contest without the party symbol," Karimpuri said.
"We (BSP) will not support any party, but any party is free to leave seats for our cadres," Karimpuri said, when asked about the PPP's decision.
Fifteen candidates belonging to the BSP are contesting as Independents in the 65-member Amritsar municipal corporation (MC). Confirming the development, Punjab BSP president Gurlal Saila said there were 10 such candidates for the 60-member Jalandhar MC and 10-15 each for the 75-member Ludhiana MC and the 50-member Patiala MC. "We will, of course, support all those who are keen to contest with the party's consent," Saila said.
Elections to the municipal corporations of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala would be held after the June 7 polls to 29 nagar panchayats and the municipal councils of Machhiwara, Dharamkot and Balachaur.
Meanwhile, PPP convener Dr SS Johl said the party was keen on seat-sharing with the Left parties and also eyeing a consensus with the BSP.
In Amritsar, the PPP has left 28 seats for the CPI-CPM; in Jalandhar, it has decided to contest 30 seats out of 60, leaving the rest for the Left and BSP cadres; in Ludhiana, it is contesting from 40 wards, while the rest (35) would be for the Left and the BSP; in Patiala, the PPP is trying its luck in 40 wards, while the other seats (10) are for the Left and the BSP.