Even after intervention of top SAD and BJP leaders, local leaders of both the parties failed to reach a consensus on seat-sharing for the 35-ward Batala municipal council.
The meeting between district BJP president Suresh Bhatia and SAD halqa in charge Lakhbir Singh Lodhinangal ended inconclusive on Thursday, with leaders of both the parties being adamant on their demand of 25 out of the total 35 seats.
Before delimitation, when the Batala municipal council had 33 seats, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was contesting on 26 as per a seat-sharing agreement with its alliance partner the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), however, just before the 2012 assembly elections, the Batala assembly seat, which was contested by the BJP earlier, was given to the SAD. In the meantime, the number of wards was increased to 35 after delimitation and the SAD, which is now leading the local politics, staked its claim over 26 seats.
On Friday, the last date of filing nominations, as many as 240 applicants of various political parties and Independents filed their papers, while 13 had filed papers on Thursday.
According to sources, after failing to reach a consensus, the BJP had given authority letters to all its 35 probable candidates, while the SAD had given letters to just 27.
Bhatia told Hindustan Times that they had already apprised the state BJP leadership of the sentiments of local cadres and were waiting for their decision, following which the list of BJP candidates would be given to the returning officer.
When questioned about the authority letters issued by him to the BJP probables, he admitted to have issued the letters, but denied to give the exact number.
Meanwhile, state BJP sports cell secretary Anshu Handa, whose mother is contesting on BJP ticket
from Ward number 23, filed his papers from Ward number 22 as an Independent. While former BJP councillor Kamlesh Seth, whose husband Dharamvir Seth, is contesting on BJP ticket from Ward number 15, too filed her papers as an Independent from Ward number 18.
State BJP kissan cell executive member Narnaik Singh Neghi filed his papers from Ward number 24, while former BJP councillor Raj Kumar Kali filed his papers from Ward number 30 and district vice-president of BJP’s woman cell Radha Rani filed papers from ward number 15 are among some of the BJP.
These leaders dissented from BJP after denial of a ticket. While senior BJP leader from Ward number 12 Gurinder Singh Neelu, who was aspiring to get a BJP ticket, got a SAD ticket from the same ward after the BJP denied him a ticket at the last minute.
On the other hand, three Congress leaders — Manjit Singh Hanspal, Pawan Kumar Pamma and Ramesh Verma, who are said to have proximity with Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Partap Singh Bajwa — too filed their papers after they failed to make it to Congress MLA Ashwani Sekhri’s list.