After failing to reach a consensus on seat sharing with its alliance partner the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Friday declared that the party would go it alone in the Pathankot civic body polls.
Blaming the BJP for the debacle, the SAD said its candidates would contest elections under the party symbol ‘Scale’.
Meanwhile, the BJP remained occupied with pacifying the rebels and so was the Congress.
Local MLA Ashwani Sharma tried hard to pacify the rebels — who were on a warpath after denial of tickets — but failed.
All major rebels — including Vikram Mahajan and Narinder Nindo — and others refused to withdraw their papers, making the contest in most of the wards triangular.
Many BJP leaders and former councillors, who were earlier loyal to former MLA Master Mohan Lal, had reportedly been denied tickets and they decided to contest as Independents, even as efforts were made to pacify them to avoid splitting of votes.
“Everybody cannot be given ticket,” said mandal president Anil Rampal, who is the frontrunner for the post of mayor. “The tickets are allotted on the basis of feedback from various wards and nobody should be annoyed after the party declared candidate. Everybody should work for the candidates picked up by the party,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Congress, which was sailing smooth thus far, felt a sudden jerk when senior leader Raman Bhalla revolted against PPCC president Partap Singh Bajwa, accusing him of ignoring senior leaders in the ticket distribution process.
Bhalla claimed that the way Bajwa interfered into the ticket distribution process and did not pick right candidates, it would harm the party’s prospect in the civic polls. He said he had doubts over the Congress winning smoothly, as reliable players were kept out of the contest.
Meanwhile, SAD jathedar Jasbir Singh Sandhu blamed the BJP of not being fair with the SAD, which led the party to contest on its own symbol. The BJP did not consider their request to give 10 seats to them, he told HT, adding now they are contesting on 15 seats.