The ruling Congress party has registered its big win today in the Punjab Civic Polls as it won all the seven municipal corporations in Punjab, while the results of the Mohali municipal corporation is awaited for tomorrow.
The congress has won Abohar, Bathinda, Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur, Pathankot, Moga and Batala. The polls were held on February 14 for 2,302 wards in 117 civic bodies in the state, including eight municipal corporations and 109 municipal councils and nagar panchayats. A total of 9,222 candidates contested the polls.
The SAD holds the second position in the local body elections in the state, though it is way behind the Congress. However, due to the anger against the central farm laws, the BJP’s performance has been rather dismal. Meanwhile, the reason for AAP’s poor performance is yet not clear as the party leaders were quiet vocal about the issues of Punjab.
The results of the elections declared today are significant as it comes amid farmers’ protests and is seen as the semi-final for the Punjab assembly polls in 2022. Though the ruling Congress led by Capt Amarinder Singh has confirmed it has strong hold in most of the districts, it has also sent a clear message to the opposition parties especially the BJP that they are ‘not welcome’.
In the final count, the Congress had won 1199 of the 1815 wards (municipal councils) and 281 of the 350 municipal corporation seats, with SAD trailing at 289 and 33, BJP at 38 and 20, and AAP at 57 and nine, while the remaining went largely to independents and BSP and CPI winning in 13 and 12 wards respectively. Meanwhile in Jalandhar, the AAP failed to open its account despite having fought the elections from 72 wards.
This count is apart from the three polling booths of municipal councils of Patran and Samana in Patiala where repolling was held on Tuesday following reports of EVMs being damaged on February 14.
The swing in favour of the Congress in comparison with the 2015 municipal corporation elections in Bathinda, Hoshiarpur, Moga and Pathankot districts is manifest in the fact that from 11 seats back then, the party’s tally has improved to a whopping 149 now. Similarly, in the wards, from 356 in 2015, the Congress score now has gone up to 1480.
In Moga, no political party has scored a majority; the Congress won 20 of the 50 municipal wards in Moga, the SAD 15, the AAP 4, the BJP 1 and Independents 10.
Historic Win in Bathinda
After 53 years, Congress won from Bathinda. The win is termed as historic as Shiromani Akali Dal since long had a strong hold here. Harsimrat Kaur Badal of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) represents Bathinda in Lok-Sabha. The SAD recently left their long term allies Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) due to their differences regarding contentious farm laws.
Manpreet Singh Badal, the Finance Minister of Punjab who is also a cousin of Sukhbir Singh Badal- the arch rival of CM Singh, tweeted, "History has been made today! Bathinda will get a Congress Mayor for the 1st time in 53 years! Thank you to ALL Bathinda residents. Congratulations to the people of Bathinda for a spectacular victory. Kudos to all Congress candidates and workers, who toiled for this day."
'Huge' setback to BJP
Despite the BJP holding the mayor post in Pathakot, it could win only 11 seats, however, the Congress clinched Pathankot by a big margin. The results came as a 'huge' setback to BJP for their stance on the farm laws that the people of Punjab are protesting against and spearheaded protests across the borders around Delhi.
The major embarrassments have been the losing of the election by the wife of Congress MLA Harjot Kamal and wife of BJP leader Tiksan sood from Hoshiarpur.
Independent candidates upend the major political parties in Jalandhar
The independent candidates won 59 out of total 110 wards, and Congress trailed behind winning 47/110 wards, the parties BSP, BJP, and SAD languished in lower single-digits i.e. two and one each respectively, while AAP miserably failed woo voters.
Districts wise list of winning parties/candidates