The ongoing protests against the new agriculture laws could have an impact on the prospects of SAD and BJP in the coming civic body elections in the district. Due to this, several former councillors are now planning to contest the elections as independents.
An SAD councillor told The Indian Express they have held meetings with senior leaders to discuss the party’s strategy to contest the elections. However, the party has not given any roadmap to counter the dissent which has increased in light of the farmers’ protest.
The councillor, on the condition of anonymity, said that most former councillors who had won the elections last time did not want the elections to be contested on the party symbol. Instead, many feel that they should focus on local issues to counter any indignation which may arise due to the protests.
“The party must contest the elections on the basis of performance of candidates, and not on party symbols as the farmers protest will affect all parties,” said another SAD leader, who was also a part of a meeting held on Wednesday.
Some BJP councillors, who attended the meeting with the SAD councillors, were also of the same view.
Meanwhile, BJP leaders said that the farmers agitation will not be an issue in the civic body elections, which will be contested on development issues.
BJP’s Patiala observer and former district president, Sukhwinder Singh Goldy, said that they will contest the elections on the party symbol and are confident of a good performance. “Our state’s senior leadership is in Delhi and is in constant touch with the top leaders and are making them aware of the effects of farmers agitation in Punjab,” Goldy added. However, the BJP is yet to kick start any preparations for polls. The AAP will also contesting the elections this time, most likely on the party symbol.