Punjab civic polls 2017: A day before Assembly election results are to be declared in Gujarat and a day after Rahul Gandhi took over the reigns of Congress as President, the party got a big boost from Punjab where it swept the three municipal corporations of Jalandhar, Amritsar and Patiala even as the opposition SAD-BJP has alleged misuse of official machinery. The ruling party in the state, almost swept the wards in the three corporations as results were declared late evening, leading to celebrations in the ruling camp.
The civic poll results were a big boost for the Congress government in the state. However, the opposition has alleged violation in poll code and demanded to countermand of elections in Patiala. Amidst tight security, polls were today held in in 29 municipal councils and nagar panchayats.
Patiala registered highest poll percentage among three municipal corporations with 62.22 percent. Jalandhar and Amritsar recorded 57.2 percent and 51 percent, even as the voting percentage in municipal councils and nagar panchayats were reported between 60-86 percent. The Congress in Patiala won 58 wards with the Opposition, even failing to open an account. Congress won from 66 wards in Jalandhar. BJP won 8 while its ally SAD won four seats. The ruling party in Amritsar 69 while 1SAD-BJP alliance seats.
Earlier in the day, voting began at 8 AM and continued till 4 PM amid tight security to ensure fair and free polling, which were mostly peaceful accept a stray incident, officials said. The elections were mainly contested between Congress, SAD-BJP, and AAP.
About 8,000 election staff and 15,500 police personnel were deployed in polling stations. Elections were held for 222 wards out of 225 of the three municipal corporations and 327 wards of the 29 municipal councils and Nagar Panchayats.
Civic polls in Punjab were held almost nine months after Congress won assembly elections in Punjab. Hailing the victory, state Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said that results were clear support for Congress policies in the state.
The SAD-BJP ally has meanwhile demanded to countermand of the Patiala corporation elections. A delegation from both parties submitted a memorandum to State Election Commissioner Jagpal Singh Sandhu in Chandigarh and also sat on a dharna outside his office.
Leaders of both parties claimed that they had vidoegraphic proof of alleged rigging and violence in Patiala. SAD leader and former minister Daljit Singh Cheema, who led the delegation said that the Congress had murdered democracy in Punjab by using the police force to commit atrocities on Akali-BJP workers.