Even though the top leadership of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had zeroed in on the name of Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria as the mayor a number of day ago, but the incumbent was informed about it only a day before the elections.
Janmeja Singh Shekon, the irrigation minister and the SAD observer for the MC elections, was in the city on Thursday and disclosed the name to the city's SAD leadership at a prominent hotel in the city.
Previously, the names of Pal Singh Grewal, Hakam Singh Giaspura and Kamaljit Singh Karwal had been doing the rounds for the post of mayor. Apparently, all these names were associated with different factions within the SAD. Apparently, this prompted the state party leadership to give the chair to Gohalwaria.
"The top party leadership was aware of factionalism within the Ludhiana unit. The leadership also knew that if preference was given to any faction, a rift would emerge within the party," said a party leader.
The meeting on Thursday continued for more than two hours and ended with the unanimous agreement that Gohalwaria would be the candidate of SAD for mayor, with Shekon succeeding in persuading Pal Singh Grewal, Giaspura and Karwal.
Soon after the meeting, when the leaders entered the dining hall at the venue, there was a visible confidence on the face of Gohalwaria and dissatisfaction on the face of Grewal and Giaspura.
On Friday, the day of polling, where Sunita Aggarwal of BJP proposed the name of Gohalwaria as the mayor, Kamaljit Singh Karwal (third potential candidate for the post of mayor) seconded the name. This was apparently done to quell resentment and make a show of unity within the party. The BJP had earlier stated that they would support any candidate for the post of mayor.