Chandigarh: The Congress party has won five of the seven municipal corporations in Punjab and was leading in three as counting of votes polled in the state local body elections proceeded today.
The party bagged Moga, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, abohar, and Bathinda municipal corporations while it led in Pathankot and Batala. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) won 10 of the 13 seats in the Majithia municipal council according to the latest reports today.
The emerging scenario may be perceived as a setback for the BJP since it was seen as an urban voter base party and had been in alliance with the SAD until outraged farmers of the states and the dynamics over the past few monthes.
Up to 109 municipal councils and nagar panchayats went to the polls on February 14, witnessing 71.39 per cent turnout amid a ragging protest spearheaded by farmers of the sate against three new central laws. Yesterday, re-polling was held in a few booths, the results of which will also be announced today.
The poll panel has also ordered re-polling today in booth numbers 32 and 33 of the mohali municipal corporation between 8 am to 4 pm. Therefore, counting for that corporation will be held only tomorrow.
Up to 9,222 candidates are in the fray overall. Of these, independents from the biggest chunk with 2,832; the congress has the largest number of contestants among the official parties at 2,037 – its Muktsar candidate has already won unopposed. The BJP, which is facing fire on the farm laws front, has fielded only 1,003. the party is contesting without its Shiromoni Akali Dal (SAD) alliance this time. The SAD itself has 1,569 candidates.
Of the 2,215 wards in the reckoning, up to 1,480 are of general category, while 610 are in the Scheduled Caste and 125 in Backward Caste segments. The Punjab State Election Commission yesterday ordered deputy commissioners to appoint micro-observers for vote counting of sensitive and hypersensitive wards.
Opposition parties have accused the ruling Congress of “capturing booths” and “indulging in violence”, according to a report by PTI . The elections were held amid thousands of farmers from the state, along with many of those from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, camping around Delhi since November in protest against the central laws.
Over 150 protesters have died till now due to various reasons, including harsh weather and by suicide. The protest burst into violence on January 26 and has, since, gained international attention.