The absence of a strong leader coupled with infighting within ranks of the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party combine is going to be the biggest challenge for the ruling alliance in the upcoming Nawanshahr municipal council polls schedule to be held on February 25.
After a list of 19 candidates announced by the SAD-BJP on Monday, a faction comprising senior SAD leaders Jagjit Singh Lalli, Manjinder Singh Walia, Harprabhmehal Singh revolted against the party, saying they were not consulted their leadership while giving tickets.
They accused Nawanshahr constituency in-charge Satinder Kaur Kariha and district president Ram Singh Dudhala for not holding any meeting with them before preparing and announcing the list.
The faction met state transport minister Ajit Singh Kohar, who is observer of Nawanshahr, at his residence at Kohar village in Jalandhar and demanded immediate change in the list.
Speaking to HT, Jagjit Singh Lally said we have conveyed our worries to Kohar who responded positively to their complaint.
“We have been serving the party for last three decades in Nawanshahr and no one in the district unit is ready to talk with us. That is why we met Kohar,” Lally said.
In Nawanshahr, SAD is a divided into two factions with one group led by local SAD leader Satinder Kaur Kariha and the other by SGPC member Gurbax Singh Khalsa. Even as the party had appointed the observer to counter this but it failed to bring in desired results.
The Congress, which ruled the municipal council for two consecutive terms, once again poses a great challenge for the alliance as the party is quite active in the city. Local party leaders have already started holding meetings with residents in the past week.
It will declare its list of candidates on Tuesday. Sources said party leaders have consented to the name of Lalit Mohan Pathak Ballu for the post of president if the party wins this time again.
Ballu has been a councillor and has also served as the MC president. In 2009 municipal elections, the Congress had won 11 seats, SAD four whereas BJP secured only two seats.