Shuffling of seats by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in some wards of Ludhiana municipal corporation (MC) has sent ripples in its alliance partner BJP.
Ward numbers 1 and 10, which were in the BJP kitty initially, have now gone to the SAD where it has fielded Baljinder Singh Gogi and Pal Singh Grewal. In exchange, the BJP was given ward numbers 26 and 53 but the party is yet to declare the names of candidates on both seats.
It has been learnt that the BJP was planning to field a prominent party worker from ward number 1 and Sakshi Jhulka from ward number 10 as she was the sitting councillor from this ward.
But the change in seats has disturbed the plans of the BJP and led to discontent among party workers at large. Now, the prospective candidate from ward number 26 is Sarabjit Lal, who is the sitting councillor from this ward and had recently quit the CPI to join the BJP.
When contacted, BJP district president Praveen Bansal said they were trying to sort out the matter with the party workers, adding "the resentment is natural, but the BJP workers are committed.
Hence, they will agree to party decisions and extend support to the contesting candidates."
Playing the role of a perfect strategist, SAD president and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has given the ticket for ward number 10 to Pal Singh Grewal. BJP sitting councillor Sakshi Jhulka was representing this ward in the outgoing MC.
The last minute changes have added fuel to fire as the candidates who were denied tickets by the BJP have united to stage protest against the distribution of tickets as is evident from the protest staged by the BJP workers in ward number 38 who wanted ticket for Gurpreet Kaur but the ticket was allotted to Gurmeet Kaur.
Interestingly, the SAD and BJP have held back the announcement of candidates on some seats. Even on the second day of nominations, the alliance did not release the complete list of candidates.
Unable to find a suitable candidate for ward number 53 (one of the prestigious wards in the most sought after assembly seat of Ludhiana West), the SAD is yet to announce the name.
Interestingly, Harish Rai Dhanda, former chief parliamentary secretary in the SAD-BJP government, was elected from this seat in 2007. Much to the surprise of area residents, despite his projection as mayoral candidate, he has chosen to contest from ward number 28 where he lives.
SAD releases second list
Baljinder Singh Gogi (ward no 1), Pal Singh Grewal (10), Savinder Kaur Neena Grewal (11), Surjit Kaur Dang (47), Bhupinder Singh Bhinda (56), Jaswinder Singh Bhola (60), Rakhwinder Singh Gabria (61) (this seat was earlier allotted to Harbhajan Singh Dang), Jagbir Singh Sokhi (63), Pritpal Singh Khural (65), Manjit Kaur (66), Ranjit Singh Ubhi (67) (this seat was earlier allotted to Inderjit Singh Gill), and Sarabjit Singh Garcha (75).