While the Congress performed poorly in the civic elections held in seven towns across the district, and also all over the state, it managed to win in 14 out of 50 wards in Mohali – thanks to rebellion in the SAD-BJP.
Results of the MC elections showed that the Congress won by a narrow margin in as many as eight wards where both the ‘Azad group’ and SAD-BJP were contesting. Party insiders blame the division of votes between the alliance and its rebel group for the victory of the Congress in these wards. Moreover, the SAD-BJP failed to field their candidates in four wards, two of which were won by the Congress.
In ward number 26, for instance, Congress candidate Kulwinder Kaur Rangi polled 483 votes, only one more than ‘Azad group’ candidate Nirmal Kaur. Both Nirmal and the BJP were contesting in the ward, and the latter polled 378 votes.
Similarly, in ward number 12, Congress candidate Rajinder Singh Rana won by a mere 17 votes from his SAD opponent Avtar Singh Walia. In the same ward, ‘Azad group’ candidate Manmohan Kaur polled 227 votes. In ward number 7, Kulwant Kaur of the Congress polled 311 votes, 43 more than Ranjit Kaur of the ‘Azad group’, while BJP candidate Anita polled 217 votes.
In ward number 2, Congress candidate Narain Singh Sidhu won by only 52 votes from his SAD opponent Dharam Singh, who polled 308 votes. The ‘Azad group’ candidate in the ward polled 125 votes.
In ward number 22, the Congress polled 510 votes, while the SAD candidate polled 456 votes. The third contestant, an ‘Azad group’ candidate, polled 277 votes. In ward number 45, Congress candidate Surinder Singh won by 47 votes and polled 538 votes. The SAD candidate and ‘Azad group’ candidate from the ward polled 491 and 478 votes respectively. In wards 3 and 19, the Congress won by a significant margin but the SAD-BJP and ‘Azad group’ candidates together polled much more than Congress.
“In all these wards, Congress won only because of competition between SAD-BJP and the ‘Azad group’, as their candidates cut into each others’ vote shares. It would not have happened if their was no rebellion, and SAD-BJP would have comfortably won,” claimed a SAD leader.
While the Congress was contesting in all 50 wards, the BJP-SAD managed to field candidates in only 46 wards, even there was dispute between BJP and SAD over seat sharing and in one of the wards, both of them fielded their candidates. In the remaining four wards, either the nomination of the SAD-BJP candidate was rejected, or the candidate failed to file nomination on time, giving advantage to Congress as it won in two of these wards.
Two election-related FIRs registered
The Mohali police has registered two election-related FIRs after the conclusion of civic elections in the district. In Zirakpur, an election official alleged that unidentified people assaulted and threatened him and his staff while they were carrying EVMs from the polling station to the store room.
In another case, police have registered an FIR against two groups who clashed following the declaration of results in Dera Bassi on Wednesday.