The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party have arrived at a consensus on seat sharing for the upcoming municipal corporation (MC) elections here.
The proportion of seats is same as in the previous elections.
In 2008, of the 31 wards of the erstwhile council, the BJP had contested on 20 while SAD had put up its candidates on 11 seats. The number of wards has gone up to 50 as the council has now become a corporation. The alliance partners have adopted the old formula and distributed the seats in the ratio of 33:17.
The BJP will contest from ward number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 20, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 42, 43, 46, 47, 48, 49 and 50.
The SAD will field candidates in ward number 8, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 41 and 45.
Ward number 9, 10, 15, 18, 20 and 25 are reserved for SC men; 16,17 and 22, 30,48 and 50 for SC women and 24 and 26 are reserved for BC (backward classes). The SAD is contesting from more reserved seats than its alliance partner.
Sources revealed that the SAD leadership did not make any bargains and let the BJP select their wards. They were not consulted much before finalising the ward reservation. Delimitation of wards has been done to the advantage of BJP faction led by chief minister's political advisor Tikshan Sud.
The crafty exercise has left even many loyalists of Rajya Sabha member Avinash Rai Khanna hunting for suitable wards as their original wards have been reserved for women or SC candidates. Many rebels are waiting to throw their hats in the ring which is likely to make the contest very exciting. Former MC vice president Khraiti Lal Katna of SAD, whose ward has been surrendered to the BJP, is certain to contest as an independent.
Majority of sitting councillors are also readying to jump in the fray. BJP has called for applications till February 5. District president Shiv Sood said that final call on candidates would be taken by the state leadership. SAD is also ready with its list but district president Surinder Singh Bhulewal Rathan said it would be released once the notification was out.
Congress and Aam Aadmi Party are still scouting for winnable candidates. AAP may not contest all seats if it fails to find suitable candidates, sources have revealed. Left parties, Peoples Party of Punjab and some other social conglomerates are planning to put up a joint fight.
There are 1,16,873 voters of which 5,6535 are women and 60,338 men.