THE JOGA Nagar Panchayat with 7,800 votes has elected 13 Independent candidates with 12 out of them being backed by CPI. There are only 13 seats in Joga NP, and it is the only Nagar Panchayat in Punjab which has chosen CPI-backed candidates for the second consecutive time.
In 2015, they had chosen 9 out of 13 candidates but this time, 12 out of 13 CPI backed candidates won the election.
“Joga is a Left supported Nagar Panchayat. They are Comrades by heart and hence, this result was obvious. In 2015, our candidates won on party symbols and this time as Independents. Our candidates had chosen symbol as bucket and they won. Villagers of Joga still believe in the thoughts of Comrade Surjan Singh Joga,” said Krishan Chauhan, general secretary of CPI, Mansa, while talking with The Indian Express.
He added, “Total 28 candidates were in fray against 13 seats out of which 13 were our CPI backed candidates and interestingly arch rivals SAD and Congress had joined hands to field 13 Independent candidates backed by them jointly, with an aim to defeat us. However, people with Leftist thoughts still elected our candidates and with a record majority. The other candidates had even taken the poll symbol as tractor-riding farmer. However, mere symbol cannot make you win elections, one needs to work in the field. We are the ones who are connected with farm movement, we are the hardcore workers who lay morchas at Delhi borders and even in Mansa, and our villagers know this very well,” said Gurmeet Singh, a winning candidate. He was vice president of Nagar Panchayat in the last term. He won from ward number 10.
Gurmeet is a retired power corporation employee, while his wife Gurmail Kaur, a retired teacher. also won from ward number 4.
One AAP candidate, Gamdoor Singh, had contested on party symbol but lost. So, 12 candidates backed by CPI won, and even the 13th winner was an Independent.
Meanwhile, Congress and SAD backed candidates with tractor-riding farmer as symbol had even taken out a tractor march from Joga on February 12. Chauhan said, “We kept our campaign simple as we cannot spend money. But still people elected us. Such results can be seen in Mansa only. CPI had been winning block samiti polls from Joga as well before it was converted into Nagar Panchayat.”
Over all in Mansa district, people elected majority of Independents in Boha Nagar Panchayat, and 2 candidates each from Congress and SAD. In Bareta, they elected all non-Congress backed Independent candidates. In Budhlada, out of 19 wards, Congress won at only 6 with party symbol while 10 Independents won. Two SAD candidates and 1 AAP candidate also won from this council.
In Mansa Municipal Council as well, Congress just managed to win 14 wards on party symbol while Independents won on 8 seats. SAD and AAP won on 2 and 3 seats, respectively.