Already hounded by its rebel leaders in several wards, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday decided to support the candidates backed by its ally Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) in three wards of Karnal municipal corporation (MC), for which the elections would held on June 2.
The BJP leaders said the decision was taken to maintain political balance with the HJC.
Though the HJC had announced not to contest the local body elections on the party symbol, its president Kuldeep Bishnoi had asked the party leaders to contest as independent candidates.
BJP Karnal president Ashok Sukhija said that the decision was taken by the district coordination committee of the BJP-HJC alliance on Saturday evening as certain HJC leaders wanted to contest the elections.
“The BJP will not field candidates in wards 12, 13 and 17 but the party will support the candidates named by our political partner. We are sure that the HJC will support our candidates in other wards to ensure victory,” said Sukhija.
The Karnal MC has 20 wards comprising the city and 15 villages in its periphery.
However, the BJP has emerged as a divided force.
Even as the party has announced the official candidates for various wards, the disgruntled leaders have started a parallel publicity campaign, projecting themselves as candidates.
In ward no 11, Krishan Garg, an influential liquor contractor who had joined the BJP recently, has been named as the official candidate.
But, his “rival” and a local trader, Balraj Bharti, has put up posters in the area naming him as the candidate.
In ward no 4, comprising sectors 7 and 8, at least two BJP leaders have started a poster war, popularising them against the potential candidate from this segment reserved for women.
Similarly, the leaders who had switched their loyalty to the BJP in the hope of becoming the party candidates are also in a mood to challenge the party in the upcoming elections.
Agreeing to the problems of the “rebels”, BJP district president Ashok Sukhija told HT that the party would surely win over these “dedicated” leaders.
“These leaders, too, aspired to contest and must have been disappointed after the tickets were allotted to others. None of them have filed nominations as independents and even if they do so, the party would pursue them to withdraw their candidatures and canvass for the BJP candidates,” he said.
Sukhija clarified that there would be no re-look at the list of party candidates.