Punjab: Local bodies' elections
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Cong sweeps civic polls, AAP fails to score
The ruling Congress swept civic polls in Punjab, winning 331 of the 353 (93.7%) zila parishad zones and 2,351 of 2,899 (81%) panchayat samiti seats. While the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and BJP combine suffered a setback, winning just 18 and two zila parishad zones respectively, AAP failed to open its account.
According to the results of 22 zila parishad and 150 panchayat samitis declared on Sunday, Congress candidates secured victory on 2,351 panchayat samiti seats, followed by 352 of SAD, 63 of BJP, 20 of AAP and one of CPI, and two each of SAD (A) and CPI(M). Faction-ridden AAP fought a losing battle, performing worse than even the independents and smaller parties. The Arvind Kejriwal-led party did not field candidates at many places.
“My heartiest congratulations and heartfelt gratitude to the people and Punjab Congress workers for scripting a sweeping victory for the Congress ,” chief minister Amarinder Singh tweeted on Sunday. Meanwhile, alleging widespread rigging during the rural elections, AAP leadership has decided to gherao the CM’s official residence on September 25.
Ludhiana civic polls
The BJP-SAD alliance won 21 seats and Lok Insaf Party led by MLA Simmerjit Singh Bains won 7 seats whereas independents bagged four seats
Congress swept the Ludhiana municipal polls by winning 62 out of 95 wards
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh hailed the results as a "clear vindication of the Congress government's policies"
The Congress swept the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation election by winning 62 out of 95 wards, the results of which were declared. The BJP-SAD alliance won 21 seats and Lok Insaf Party led by MLA Simmerjit Singh Bains won 7 seats whereas independents bagged four seats, an election office spokesperson said here. For the first time AAP which contested 31 seats opened its account when its one woman candidate was declared elected from ward no-11.
The election for Ludhiana MC was held on February 24. Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has hailed the Ludhiana MC results as a "clear vindication of the Congress government's policies and an endorsement of the pro-people initiatives undertaken by it in the past one year".
In a statement welcoming the poll results, Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar and Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu also lauded the performance of the party in the MC polls, which they said marked the total annihilation of the opposition parties in the state.
While the chief minister congratulated the party workers and leaders, including Cabinet minister, Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa, and Ludhiana MP, Ravneet Bittu, for steering the sweeping victory for the Congress, Jakhar said it had once again underscored the faith that the people of Punjab had in Amarinder's leadership.
Amarinder termed the victory as a "befitting reply by the people of Punjab to the misdeeds and fabrications of the opposition, which had been trying to mislead them with baseless allegations against the Congress government". Opposition SAD-BJP and AAP had accused the ruling Congress of rigging the polls.
With the AAP being reduced to a single seat, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) relegated to a poor second, winning just 11 out of 55 seats contested, and the BJP losing all but 10 of the 47 seats contested, it was clear that the political antics of these parties since their defeat in the Assembly polls a year ago had failed to impress the people, Jakhar said.
Meanwhile, the Congress high command has also lauded the party's victory in the MC polls and congratulated Amarinder Singh, for it.