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‘Were not allowed to campaign, our posters were torn, offices shut, yet we made a mark’: Punjab BJP

This was the first time BJP contested alone after SAD snapped ties with its alliance partner BJP on September 27, 2020.It was the day when President had givn assent to the three farm laws.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana |
Updated: February 18, 2021 4:30:20 am
Punjab polls, Punjab local body polls, punjab bjp, punjab bjp local body win, indian express newsBJP candidate Pardeep Singla celebrating his victory in ward number 24 of Jaitu Municipal Council, Faridkot district, on Wednesday.

AMID STIFF protest from farmers, Punjab BJP managed to win 49 seats of 116 (declared so far) urban local bodies where polling took place for 2,165 wards. Meanwhile, AAP, which did extensive roadshows that were also attended by two Delhi MLAs, won 62 seats.

“We were not even allowed to campaign, our offices were closed, our posters were torn and despite that we have made a mark…this shows voters are with us,” said BJP councillor Satpal Pathela, who won from ward no. 26 of Muktsar. He defeated Congress’s Sikander Singh by 365 votes, and won for the fifth consecutive time. “The Punjab government should not have conducted these elections, it is a death of democracy,” said Dinesh Kumar, organisational secretary of BJP.

This was the first time BJP contested alone after SAD snapped ties with its alliance partner BJP on September 27, 2020.It was the day when President had givn assent to the three farm laws.

The areas from where BJP won included stronghold Pathankot Municipal Corporation, where the party won 11 out of 50 seats, while in Batala Municipal Corporation, the party won 4 seats out of a total 50. In Moga Municipal Corporation, BJP won one seat and four seats from Hoshiarpur Municipal Corporation. In total, it won 20 out of 350 seats of seven municipal corporations while AAP, which is the main party of opposition, managed to win only 9 seats in this section.

In municipal councils category A, of a total 548 seats, BJP could win only 12, 11 out of 629 in category B and 0 out of 287 in category C. In nagar panchayats, it won just 4 out of total 351 seats.

In Fazilka, BJP had won 19 out of 25 seats in the 2015 municipal council elections but this time managed to win only four. Their district president Rakesh Dhuria also lost. The winners from Fazilka are Ashok Jairath, Puran Chand Dasuja, Rakesh Gupta and Rachna Kataria, who did not celebrate their victory after winning. In Abohar, which again is BJP’s stronghold, where their MLA Arun Narang also won 2017 Vidhan Sabha polls defeating PPCC president Sunil Jakhar, the party could not even open its account. Congress won 49 out of 50 seats and the lone remaining seat was won by SAD candidate Madhu Bala. Pardeep Singla, the lone winner from Jaitu’s ward no. 14 in Faridkot district, said, “I could not campaign at all. There was no party flag, no poster anywhere in the ward and still I have won…Janta has won this chunav…I defeated Congress candidate Sandeep Jindal by 380 votes. It is my third consecutive victory… This one was the most challenging. My ward has votes of educated people…mostly from the Aggarwal community and I have been working for them for the past many years.”

Dinesh Kumar, organisational secretary of BJP, said, “Punjab CM shouldn’t have organised this election…results of corporations/councils which Congress won have figures like 49/50 or 33/33, which sound too abnormal. However one cannot judge anything about 2022 from this election…we will win for sure in Vidhan Sabha.”

In Khanna Municipal Council, two BJP women candidates won — Meenakshi Devgan from ward number 21 and Rekha Arora Manocha from ward number 33. They won five seats from Sujanpur, one each seat from Kurali and Phillaur Municipal Councils, three from Nayagaon and one from Kirtpur Sahib Nagar Panchayats.

Rajesh Paletha, district president from BJP Muktsar, said, ”My father had personal contact in his ward and hence he won despite outsiders not allowing us to campaign.”

Dinesh said, “You cannot call it an election when our offices were locked, our candidates were harassed, vehicles were attacked…still we are not down and out…we are here and we will stay for long…we will get a majority in 2022 for sure.”

Ferozepur was yet another stronghold of BJP and so was Rajpura where BJP used to contest even during its alliance with SAD. However, this time they were wiped out from Ferozepur and won only two seats from Rajpura, the constituency from where BJP leader Harjeet Grewal had contested in 2017 and was facing the ire of farmers due to his statements against farm laws in the past many months.

Democracy throttled, will keep working for people: Ashwani Sharma

State BJP president Ashwani Sharma on Wednesday reacted to the civic bodies poll results by saying that it was the “worst day in Punjab democracy” as the “bullish power” of the Congress seemed to be on full display.

In a statement issued here, Sharma said that the election results reflect complete moral defeat of the Congress in the face of blatant misuse of official machinery.

“At more than two dozen places the Congress workers indulged in reckless violence against the BJP workers while the police took no action. At numerous places, the BJP candidates were denied a fair play even as we brought the matter to the notice of the Election Commission time and again,” Sharma said.

Sharma said the BJP would continue working for the cause of the people undeterred by the outcome of the election results. He complimented the party workers who had to suffer the “brutality” of the Congress and reassured the people of the state that the BJP would continue to uphold and popularise the development and progressive policies of the Narendra Modi government and would continue highlighting the “mafia raj” of the Amarinder Singh government.

With Inputs From ENS

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