After getting the number in Sangrur, Bhawanigarh municipal committees and Amargarh nagar panchayat, the ruling SAD-BJP alliance has started talks with independents to form councils where it is falling short of majority.
The SAD-BJP combine has won 14 out of total 33 seats in Malerkotla. Though the Congress has also bagged 14 seats here, but the SAD sources said three of the five elected independents were with the SAD.
In Dhuri, the alliance has got only four seats, and as many as 17 winners are independents. SAD leaders claimed they had supported most of the independent candidates who refused to contest on the party symbol. They (independents) are ready to support the SAD, sources from the ruling party said.
On the other hand, the BJP, which has won three seats, is demanding the president's post. "Besides our three candidates, we also have the support of four independents that add to seven of the total 21 seats. Our claim for the president's post is strong, and we will raise our demand," said Vikas Jain, BJP's Dhuri president.
In Longowal, Rajya Sabha MP and senior SAD leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa has an important role to play as the party is divided into two groups.
Sources said Jeet Singh Sidhu's group is strong and is claiming support of 10 independents of the total 15 seats. As Sidhu is close to Dhindsa, his group also has more chances to win over Gobind Singh Longowal's group.
In Sunam, the SAD is getting the advantage of finance minister and local MLA Parminder Singh Dhindsa's presence.
Though, the SAD has won two of the three seats it contested on its party symbol, the party claimed that several candidates, who have won independently, were supporting by the SAD. The party's partner BJP also won two seats. Now, the SAD required the support of eight independents to get the president's post in Sunam MC which has total 23 wards.
However, the SAD-BJP is facing some problems to get support of independents in Lehragaga municipal committee, where alliance could win only five of total 15 seats.
However, the Congress has also bagged five seats and is claiming to have support of some independents. Lehragaga was represented by former chief minister and senior Congress leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal. However, Bhattal had left from Lehragaga after a meeting with Congress candidates. Now, her son and youth Congress leader Rahul Inder Sidhu is holding meetings.
Sangrur SAD-BJP shows united face
The SAD and BJP leaders in Sangrur have shown a united face and are holding a joint meeting of the winning candidates. All thye 17 candidates, except Aarti Kalra, the wife of Punjab BJP secretary Jatinder Kalra, were present at the meeting.
Chief parliamentary secretary and SAD's Sangrur MLA Parkash Chand Garg said, "We are united and the alliance performed very well in the entire district."
About Kalra's absence from the meeting, he said: "Kalra has told me that he had to go somewhere urgently and could not attend the meeting."