Congress sweeps municipal polls in Punjab, wins all three corporations

The voting for three municipal corporations including Amritsar, Jalandhar and Patiala and 29 municipal councils and nagar panchayats in Punjab ended on Sunday.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: Dec 18, 2017, 00:20 AM IST
Congress sweeps municipal polls in Punjab, wins all three corporations
Pic Courtesy: ANI

NEW DELHI: Barely 10 months after it revived itself in the border state, the Congress party on Sunday once again swept the three municipal corporation polls - Amritsar, Jalandhar and Patiala, even as the opposition SAD-BJP alleged misuse of official machinery.

The Congress swept most of the wards in the three municipal corporations as results were declared late evening, prompting celebrations in the ruling camp. The Akali-BJP alliance, however, demanded to countermand the Patiala corporation polls citing gross poll code violations.

Polling was also held in 29 municipal councils and nagar panchayats today, amid tight security arrangements.

 

For the three municipal corporations, Patiala registered the highest poll percentage of over 62.22 per cent followed by Jalandhar at 57.2 and Amritsar at 51 per cent while the voting percentage in the 29 municipal councils and nagar panchayats ranged between 60-86 per cent.

Congress swept the Patiala municipal corporation winning 59 wards while the opposition failed to open account. In Jalandhar, 66 wards fell into the Congress's kitty followed by BJP (8) and SAD (4). In Amritsar, Congress won 64, SAD 7, BJP 6 and 8 wards went to the independents.

Overall, the Congress won 189 wards in the three municipal corporations followed by BJP with 14, SAD with 11, while ten were won by independents.

In the municipal council and nagar panchayat polls, the Congress won from 267 places as against 37 by SAD, 15 by BJP, 94 by Independents.

The AAP received a severe drubbing winning from only one place.

The voting started at 8:00 am and continued till 4:00 pm, a spokesman of the state election commission said here.

The major political outfits: ruling Congress, SAD-BJP and AAP were contesting the civic polls on their party symbols. A total of 8,000 election staff and 15,500 police personnel were deployed at the polling stations.

Hailing the poll results, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said, "Election results have been very good, we are very pleased. You can't get a better result than this. Out of three corporations, we have swept polls and won all of them."

"In Patiala, out of 60 seats, 56 results are declared, won those 56. Similarly in Jalandhar, out of 80, at least 77 are declared and 63 we have won. In Amritsar, out of 85, at least 61 have been declared, 45 we have won," he said. 

"In the municipal committees, out of 32, we have won 31. This is a vindication of our policies, programmes," he said. 

Congress minister Navjot Singh Sidhu termed this the first victory of Rahul Gandhi as party president and third under Captain Amarinder Singh.

Meanwhile, SAD-BJP demanded countermanding of the Patiala Corporation elections. A SAD-BJP delegation submitted a memorandum to State Election Commissioner Jagpal Singh Sandhu here and also sat on a dharna outside his office.

The SAD-BJP leaders claimed that they had vidoegraphic evidence of blatant rigging and violence in Patiala.

Former minister and SAD leader Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, who led the SAD-BJP delegation, alleged "the Congress had murdered democracy in the State by using police force to commit atrocities on Akali-BJP cadre".

Cheema said even former SAD Mayor from Patiala, Amarinder Singh Bajaj, was manhandled.

He alleged that in Mullanpur Dakha a SAD candidate's mother was attacked and injured by Congress supporters.

"Similarly SAD polling agents were attacked by Congressmen in Sahnewal who barged into their booths with a group of outsiders. In Ghanour when Akali-BJP supporters protested casting of fake votes they were thrashed..," he said adding the SAD-BJP would now take recourse to democratic protests as well as legal remedy.

BJP demanded a repoll in Patiala, Ghagga and some wards in Mullanpur Dakha and Jalandhar, alleging violation of model code and misuse of machinery.

The AAP also alleged misuse of government machinery by the ruling Congress in the polls.

The major political outfits: ruling Congress, SAD-BJP and AAP were contesting the civic polls on their party symbols. A total of 8,000 election staff and 15,500 police personnel were deployed at the polling stations.

The Election Commission (EC) had ordered videography of 103 hyper sensitive wards.

Polling was held in 222 out of 225 wards in the three municipal corporations and 327 of the 29 municipal councils and nagar panchayats.

In 90 wards, the candidates had earlier won unopposed and out of these three candidates belonged to the Patiala Municipal Corporation and 87 to municipal councils and nagar panchayats.

A total of 925 candidates were in the fray for the elections to three municipal corporations with the ruling Congress, the SAD-BJP and the AAP contesting the polls.

A total of 8,000 election staff and 15,500 police personnel have been deployed at polling stations. There were a total of 873 polling stations in the state having 1,938 polling booths.

In Amritsar, at least 154 polling stations out of the total 366 were declared sensitive while 136 were declared hypersensitive.

Similarly, out of the 554 polling booths in Jalandhar, 344 were declared sensitive and 31 as very sensitive.

The Election Commission had even ordered videography of 103 hypersensitive wards.

The polling was held in respect of 222 wards out of 225 wards of 3 municipal corporations and 327 wards of 29 municipal councils and nagar panchayats.

The civic polls in the state were held nine months after the state assembly elections were held in Punjab. The Congress had wrested power from the SAD-BJP combine in the state.

Notably, it was for the first time that voters had the 'None Of The Above' option in civic bodies polls.