A strain in the SAD-BJP ties in the wake of a poor show in the recently held Lok Sabha elections in Punjab has become quite visible in the functioning of both the parties in the Municipal Corporation Jalandhar with the saffron party posturing aggressively against its coalition partner.
The BJP, for the first time, has taken a strong exception to the statement of some SAD councillors, including senior deputy mayor Kamaljeet Singh Bhatia and deputy mayor Arvinder Kaur Oberoi, who had raised questions over the functioning of mayor Sunil Jyoti.
"Enough is enough now. We are not going to tolerate such baseless allegations by the SAD leaders against us. If something good happens in the city, they claim credit and when anything goes wrong they blame the BJP mayor. This is not done according to the coalition dharma," said Subhash Sood, BJP district president.
The BJP has asked SAD district president Gurcharan Singh Channi to restrain the party councillors from openly criticising the former before the media.
The BJP district chief said it was not for the first time that SAD councilors, especially senior deputy mayor, had gone to the media against the mayor.
Such attempts by SAD leaders had dented the image of the coalition parties, especially the BJP, he added.
"We also have certain limits. The SAD senior leadership has also been apprised to control its councillors. I have also discussed the matter with my party seniors," said the BJP district chief.
The strong stance taken by the BJP against SAD councillors is seen as the fallout of the statement made by state BJP chief Kamal Sharma, who in an interview to HT last week had said they would be more assertive.
Sources in the BJP disclosed that the senior party leadership had asked all district presidents to oppose wrongdoings by SAD as and when needed and not take any pressure while doing so.
SAD's district chief Channi while terming the outburst by SAD councillors before the media as unfortunate, accused mayor Sunil Jyoti of not being fair.
"Both the sides are responsible equally. When mayor saab ignored the senior deputy mayor or the deputy mayor, they got frustrated and went to the media. In the past also, there were tensions which we settled amicably. Now, we would raise the issue with party president Sukhbir Badal to find some solution," Channi said.
The SAD councillors had accused the mayor of not inviting them to official meetings and taking decisions in a unilateral manner. The SAD leaders also raised objections over the decision to carry out patchwork worth Rs 13 crore for city roads.