Chandigarh: Amidst the farmers ‘protests, the ruling Congress in Punjab took a big lead in the civic body elections, while the BJP, which was facing farmers’ anger over the controversial central agricultural laws, gave a disappointing performance in these municipal bodies.
The Congress swept the Bharatiya Janata Party in the election by winning all seven municipal corporation seats in Punjab. The Congress party has won Moga, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Abohar, Pathankot, Batala and Bathinda municipal corporations in the local body elections.
In a clean sweep, the Congress won 49 of the 50 wards in Abohar, while the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) won one. Out of 50 wards of Hoshiarpur, Congress won 31 wards. The Bharatiya Janata Party won four wards, while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won two. However, SAD and Bahujan Samaj Party won no wards.
In Moga, Congress won 20 out of 50 wards, while SAD finished second with 15 wards. Independent candidates won 10 wards, while AAP and BJP won four and one wards respectively. In Bhawanigarh Municipal Council, Congress won 13 out of 15 seats while SAD and Independents won one each. BJP and AAP failed to win any seat.
Election officials said ballot counts for 116 Punjab urban local bodies, including seven high-stake municipal corporations amid tight security. Amid allegations of booth capturing and clashes, the state had 71.39 percent turnout of 39,15,280 voters on 14 February.
The counting of votes for the Municipal Corporation in Mohali will take place on Thursday after repeating in two booths due to reports of irregularities. The main contest in the urban local bodies was between the Congress, the opposition AAP and the SAD.
The BJP contested without the Akalis for the first time in two decades, the NDA’s oldest ally, who had disassociated himself from opposition to agricultural laws. Local issues of towns and cities dominated the respective ward propaganda.
A total of 9,222 candidates were in the fray for 2,302 wards. Political observers say that just a year before the assembly elections, these elections are a ‘semi-final’ for the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government, which succeeded in repeating its victory against the backdrop of agricultural laws. There has been a wave of anger among the farmers against the IP agricultural laws towards the BJP and the Congress party leads to a major victory.