The protesting city mayor and several other councillors on Thursday got support from unexpected quarters with the local Congress parliamentarian, Arvind Sharma, expressing solidarity with them.
Mayor Renu Bala Gupta, senior deputy mayor Krishan Garg, deputy mayor Manoj Wadhwa and seven councillors are sitting outside the municipal corporation since Monday and demanding decentralisation of powers.
Sharma reached at the protest venue in the afternoon and called the issues raised by them as genuine.
However, he clarified that the chief minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, was in favour of democratisation of local bodies and hoped that the state government would patiently listen to the issues raised by the protesting members of the MC.
He urged the agitating members to constitute a delegation and offered to fix an appointment with the chief minister on Friday, where they can air their grievances.
"Councillors are complaining of being sidelined by the district authorities on the issue of the development activities and this is certainly uncalled for. I fully agree that an elected representative must be involved in the developmental plans," said Sharma.
Sharma's move is also being seen as a political strategy of the two-time Lok Sabha MP who wants to maintain his political base in the Karnal assembly segment ahead of the forthcoming general elections.
The protesting city mayor and her deputies are also vocal against the two-time Congress MLA Sumita Singh.
They allege that the elected representatives of the MC were ignored by the administration to ensure that the credit of all development plans was taken by Singh.
Sharma who is known for political differences with the MLA held detailed deliberations with the councillors at the protest site.
He did not persuade them to end the protest that is focused on the administration and the MLA, but said peaceful protest was a democratic right to raise legitimate demands of any individual.
Earlier in the day, councillors of the Panipat MC affiliated with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also participated in the dharna.
Panipat councillor Rohita Rewari said the areas represented by the councillors who are close to the ruling Congress government were in an advantageous situation while others were subjected to neglect.