Though People’s Party of Punjab (PPP) president Manpreet Singh Badal had contested the last parliamentary polls on the Congress symbol, yet the alliance between the two parties for the municipal corporation elections here has not materialised.
While the Congress leaders claimed that the party had decided to leave three seats for the PPP against the demand of seven by them, PPP chief Manpreet Singh Badal said, “The party was offered the wards which actually are to be contested by prominent Congress leaders or their nears and dears, who had helped me a lot in the parliamentary polls, so we decided not to field candidates on these three wards. I feel it happened due to factionalism within the Congress.” PPP candidates have filed nominations from as many as 12 wards under while Congress candidates on 49 wards leaving one for the PPP.
“The offered wards were to be contested by nears and dears of Congress leaders Jagroop Singh Gill, Ashok Pradhan and another leader Dr Satpal Bhateja and these leaders have helped me a lot in the parliamentary polls,” manpreet said. “However, our leaders want to contest the polls and I can’t stop them from doing so. Hence, the party will be contesting from four or five wards and it will be a friendly contest with the Congress in these wards. But the party will support Congress candidates in other wards,” he said.
Rebellion in ruling parties
The rebel factor is haunting all the political parties as many of their members, who were denied tickets, filed nominations as candidates of other parties or independents for the elections scheduled to be held on February 22.
Having been denied ticket by the party, former SAD councillor Tek Singh Khalsa and Neeta Rani, wife of former SAD councillor Manjit Singh, filed nominations as Congress candidates. Similarly, SAD leader Rajbir Singh also filed nomination as a Congress candidate. BJP district secretary and former councillor Mandeep Kaur and her husband Basant Agrohia filed nominations as independents.