AFTER 11 days of intensive campaigning by SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal for his candidates contesting for the urban local body polls, his party secured 285 out of the total 2,168 declared seats in different categories.
The Akalis won 10 of 13 seats in Majitha Municipal Council, while in Qadian MC (category C), they won 8 out of 15 seats, putting Congress at second spot with seven seats. In Ajnala Nagar Panchayat (NP), SAD won 8 out of 15 seats, thus becoming the main party. All are located in Majha Punjab while SAD was at the upper edge in Nayagaon NP in Mohali district as well, where it won 10 out of 21 seats and hence was at number one position.
Sukhbir had cut short his Parliament session and come to Punjab on February 2, where he was campaigning for party candidates till the last day. His speeches also stated that his party will come to power in 2022 for sure.
In the 2015 urban local body polls, when the SAD-BJP alliance was in power, they had made a clean sweep. Hence this result, a year before Vidhan Sabha polls, holds great significance. SAD spokesperson Daljeet Singh Cheema however said, “Congress did a death of democracy, they did booth capturing, got bogus voting done. They followed all unfair means to win these elections. However we still thank the voters and respect their verdict. One thing which has emerged out of these elections is that although AAP is the main opposition party in the state as of now, in these polls, after Congress, we have come out as the single largest opposition party after winning 289 seats while AAP is nowhere near the scene.”
Interestingly independents have a more important role to play as they have won 392 seats while AAP could win only 62 seats, close to BJP with 49 seats.
Malwa Punjab, the stronghold of SAD, however did not yield the results it could have as the party won only 7 seats out of 50 in Bathinda Municipal Corporation. Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said, “We will be having a Congress mayor for the first time in 53 years in Bathinda. I thank voters of Bathinda for this landslide victory for Congress.”
In 2015, the SAD-BJP had won 29 out of 50 seats in Bathinda while Congress had won 10 seats and 11 were won by independents. In Abohar, SAD won only 1 out of 50 seats. In fact, out of 548 seats of municipal council category A — all in Malwa Punjab, they could win only 77. The districts included Ropar, Mohali, Sangrur, Mansa, Bathinda, Fatehgarh Sahib, Barnala , Patiala and Ludhiana.
In Ferozepur, though BJP could contest only on 11 out of total 33 wards but SAD was contesting on all wards. Interestingly, SAD could not win even a single seat from Ferozepur Nagar council.
Ferozepur City, Congress MLA Parminder Pinki said, “It is the first time that a political party has won a perfect 100 score. SAD president Sukhbir Badal remained here for two days and saw the result. We won 33 out of 33 wards. It was because of our development work.”