The Akali-BJP alliance is confident of retaining its hold over the 27-member municipal council House here.
In the latest civic elections in Gurdaspur, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) fielded 19 and 8 candidates, respectively. The SAD won six seats and the BJP only seven; and a divided Congress that contested all 27 took five. The Independents took the remaining nine.
Congress halqa in-charge and Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee (PPCC) member Raman Bahl said "wrong ticket distribution" for the rout in the Gurdaspur and elsewhere in the state in the civic elections. "People won't see us as a viable alternative until we change our state party leadership," he said.
Local legislator and chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) Gurbachan Singh Babbehali said he expected all nine Independents to support the SAD in the 27 member house. "Together, we'll have 15 seats, which will give us majority," he said. Asked if the SAD would insist on imposing its council president once it had the support of Independents, Babbehali said the party would "abide by the coalition dharma and let the BJP lead the civic body as agreed".
In the last munipal council in Gurdaspur, the SAD-BJP had 14 members, while Congress had five after losing two to the SAD. There were 2 others in the 21-member House led by Santosh Riar of the BJP that played big brother.
When contacted, Punjab BJP executive member BK Mittal said that the BJP supported by its political ally, the SAD, was close to getting power in the next Gurdaspur municipal council.
"The Akali-BJP alliance in Gurdaspur is functioning in a perfect harmony and coordination as directed by the high commands of both parties," he stated.