Congress sweeps urban local bodies in Punjab, BJP, SAD take massive hit amid farmers’ stir
The poll results are also being seen in certain quarters as a referendum on the farm laws brought by the Centre and a significant pointer to political headwinds in the state ahead of the Assembly elections next year.
The ruling Congress swept the urban local body polls in Punjab leaving both Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP far behind, as the results began to trickle in. It’s the first election result following the farmers’ agitation and the split between SAD and BJP. The poll results are also being seen in certain quarters as a referendum on the farm laws brought by the Centre and a significant pointer to political headwinds in the state ahead of the Assembly elections next year.
Besides the Congress, independents, too, fared very well in the polls while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which had launched a robust campaign, performed below expectations.
Doing well in all the three regions of Punjab, the Congress swept six out of the eight municipal corporations in the state. The party won 49 out of 50 seats in Abohar, 43 in Bathinda, 41 in Hoshiarpur and 43 in Kapurthala. It also made massive inroads into the BJP dominated Pathankot, bagging 37 out of 50 seats. It did well in Batala too, with 35 seats.
Repolling is underway in two wards of Mohali Municipal Corporation, the results of which will be announced on Thursday.
Moga was the only civic body where the Congress didn’t do too well, bagging 20 out of 50 seats and SAD winning 15.
State Congress president Sunil Jakhar refused to comment on the results, saying they are still being compiled.
In Ferozepur and Zira Municipal Councils in Malwa, Congress won all the seats. The grand old party also fared very well in the SAD strongholds of Jalalabad, Arinwala and Fazilka. The BJP, which was majorly routed, found some solace in Fazilka winning 4 of the 25 seats contested.
Independents did very well in several councils of Mansa.
BJP candidate Pardeep Singla managed to win the Jaitu ward despite strident protests by farmers. In Khanna Municipal Council, too, lotus bloomed in two seats. The Congress bagged the majority in municipal councils at Khanna, Jagraon, Samrala, Raikot, Doraha, Payal and Sahnewal in Ludhiana district. Barring Nayagaon, the ruling party reached majority mark in all the MCs of Mohali as well. The party also won handsomely in Sangrur, Barnala and Patiala as well.
In a major setback to the BJP, it lost its stronghold of Pathankot by a big margin to the Congress. Despite having a sitting mayor in the district, the saffron party could bag only 11 seats in the municipal corporation.
In the Majha region, so far, the Congress has won 13 local bodies whereas the SAD managed to win two (Majitha and Ajnala). Counting for Qadian was still on.
In Doaba region, which has four districts including Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala and Nawanshahr, the main fight was between the ruling Congress and the independents. While the Congress won over 60% seats in Doaba, over 26% seats fell into the laps of Independents. In Jalandhar and Nawanshahr, the Congress was trailing the Independents till last reports.
SAD, BJP, AAP and BSP could only secure 6%, 2.5%, 3% and 1% seats in the region.
Polling was held for 360 wards across 23 local bodies, including two municipal corporations, in Doaba of which results were declared on 358 seats till the filing of this report. The Congress won 218 seats, Independents 95, SAD 21 and AAP 11. The BJP and BSP bagged 9 and 4 wards respectively.
Congress was ahead in Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur districts.
In Hoshiarpur, Congress won 101 out of 141 seats across 10 local bodies, while the outcome in two wards was awaited. The ruling party bagged 41 out 50 seats in Hoshiarpur Corporation and the remaining for municipal councils and Nagar Panchayats.
SAD and BJP were trailing in their traditional strongholds of Mukerian, Tanda, Dasuya, Garhdiwal and Hariana municipal councils and Nagar Panchayats.
In Jalandhar, independents won 59 of 110 wards across 8 local bodies, while Congress could manage only 47 seats.
In Nawanshahr, of the total 47 wards across three local bodies, the Congress could win 16 seats, while Independents won 17. In Nawanshahr, one candidate won by a margin of a single vote.
AAP performed better in Banga and Dasuya, winning 5 of 15 and 4 of 15 seats, respectively.