The bitterness between the alliance partners — SAD and BJP — in Tarn Taran once again came to the fore on Monday, with seven BJP councillors boycotting the proceedings to elect the president of the Tarn Taran municipal council and the oath-taking ceremony.
Only 16 Akali councillors cast their votes to elect president of the 23-seat Tarn Taran council.
As not even a single BJP councillor was present during the voting, the SAD won all posts, including president, vice-president and senior vice-president. Bhupinder Singh Khera was elected as president, whereas Renu Bala and Baldev Billa elected as senior vice-present and vice-president, respectively.
Notably, the tussle between the alliance partners broke out on February 10 after a clash between SAD and BJP leaders. The clash not only created a law and order situation in the border town, but also resulted in a split.
Punjab cabinet minister Anil Joshi accused the Akali leaders of attacking his brother Raja Joshi and announced that his party would keep no alliance with Akali Dal in Tarn Taran polls and go it alone.
The polls witnessed high voltage campaigns and mudslinging between both the parties, however, the Akalis emerged victorious with 16 seats, while the BJP won seven of the 23 seats.
Since all was not well between the two parties here, BJP councillors decided to stay away from the entire process on Monday.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Navreet Singh, district BJP chief, said: “We did not want any tussle between us, and thus, decided to keep away from the ceremony. We can take oath later.”
“However, we will go to the meetings concerning the town’s development of the town, he added.
The district BJP chief also questioned why the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed after the February 10 clash was not submitting it report.
Notably, there was a huge rush of Akali supporters at the SDM office on Monday when their leaders took oath.