With an eye on the upcoming civic body polls, political parties have started warming up exercise to jump into the fray for the mayoral chair of the newly-born Pathankot municipal corporation.
After the town becomes a district headquarters and the municipal council was elevated to the status of a corporation, stakes are high for both major parties — the Congress and the SAD-BJP combine.
Though the main contest will be between the Congress and the SAD-BJP combine, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) may emerge as a game changer. The AAP is also looking forward to make inroads into the corporation.
The Congress, which was holding the president chair — when Pathankot was a council — wants to maintain its status quo by winning the myoral chair, which also becomes evident from the last council president Anil Vij being busy holding meetings with his co-workers and former councillors.
The BJP too seems busy, as it has been lernt that the safron party has even decided its candidates, who already have embarked on one-to-one contact with the residents of their respective wards.
However, all eyes are set on BJP mandal president Anil Rampal — a close aid to local MLA Ashwani Sharma — who will be contesting the elections for the first time. Rampal can be the BJP-SAD contender for the mayor post if the BJP fairs well and leads in the newly-formed 50 wards.
“We are not only confident of our victory, but my colleagues amd I can win even in three different wards at the same time if we choose to contest,” claimed Vibhuti Sharma, a former Congress councillor. We had defeated them (SAD-BJP) in the last civic polls even as they had their MLA, he said.
“If we can defeat them at that time, we are sure that our works and dedication toward the people will not allow them to caste votes in the BJP’s favour, said Sharma.
“We are prepared to contest and win the elections,” said Dhanwant Bajwa, another former Congress councillor, adding, the people are sick of the SAD BJP rule and their anger will appear in the results.