Riding on the Modi wave, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership seems enthusiastic about the upcoming municipal committee elections in the district.
The ground-level workers of the BJP have already started holding meetings, leaving behind alliance partner Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). Most of the BJP leaders are unhappy with the old seat sharing formula and are eyeing more seats this time. As per information, the district unit of the BJP held a meeting and decided to give only 11 seats to SAD of the total 27 in the Sangrur municipal committee and 50% seats in other eight municipalities.
The BJP leadership is also planning to give tickets to some followers of the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda, as its chief had offered his support to the BJP in the assembly elections in Haryana.
With BJP claiming a stronghold in the cities and towns, Dera head Ram Raheem Singh's support may prove a shot in the arm for the party in Punjab as well since the Malwa region is considered the forte of the Dera head.
Also, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which registered a thumping win in four assembly constituencies of the state and declared to contest the civic polls in Punjab, could toughen the contest for the Akalis.
"Though the dates of the polls are yet to be announced, the BJP is all set. We have already started working and our workers are enthusiastic about the polls," said state BJP secretary Jatinder Kalra, adding, "We have already raised our demand with the senior leadership of the party as we want to contest more seats in the nine municipal committees of the district."
However, the Congress is of the view that BJP's victory in Haryana will not affect its poll prospects in Punjab. "Being the alliance partner, the BJP is equally responsible for the wrongdoings of the Punjab government and SAD-BJP will have to pay for anti-incumbency," said Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Congress leader.
Congress' district president Roop Kaur Bagrian said, "We think the polls may take place in December and we are fully prepared."
Being asked if the competition would be tough for the Congress this time, Bagrian said, "We cannot deny the competition but we have good candidates and we are also holding monthly meetings to prepare our workers before the polls."
When the question about the demand of more seats by BJP leaders was raised with finance minister and SAD MLA from Sunam, Parminder Singh Dhindsa, he said, "Though the demand of more seats is being raised by some BJP leaders, we cannot say anything till their senior leadership makes such a demand."
Dates for the civic polls are yet to be announced, but the residents of the municipal committees of the district have heaved a sigh of relief with the government having started work on broken roads and drains, following the directions of deputy commissioner Arshdeep Singh Thind.