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Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Punjab local body polls: Rural connect the binding factor behind record turnout in 22/26 Nagar Panchayats

Data analysed revealed that 12 out of 26 Nagar Panchayats voted above 80 per cent and all of them are in state’s Malwa region, which has 46 per cent of the total NPs while 10 out of 26 Nagar Panchayats voted above 74 per cent and less than 80 per cent.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana |
Updated: February 17, 2021 7:46:25 am
Punjab local body polls, Punjab polls, Punjab elections, Punjab farmers protest, Punjab news, Indian ExpressPeople in queue to cast their votes for the Punjab polls, in Amritsar on February 14, 2021. (Express Photo: Rana Simranjit Singh)

While the average voter turnout in Punjab’s 117 urban local bodies (ULBs) was 71.39 per cent, 22 Nagar Panchayats (NPs) in the state, which have a large rural base, recorded a turnout higher than the state’s average.

Data analysed by The Indian Express revealed that 12 out of 26 Nagar Panchayats voted above 80 per cent and all of them are in state’s Malwa region, which has 46 per cent of the total NPs while 10 out of 26 Nagar Panchayats voted above 74 per cent and less than 80 per cent. Only four Nagar Panchayats voted below the state’s voter turnout and these are Bhikhiwind which polled 63.42 per cent in Tarantaran district, while Rayya Nagar Panchayat in Amritsar district polled 63.27 per cent. Nayagaon in Mohali district polled 65.90 per cent votes, Chamkaur Sahib in Ropar had a turnout of 70.59 per cent and the rest 22 NPs polled above the state’s poll turnout.

Punjab local body polls, Punjab polls, Punjab elections, Punjab farmers protest, Punjab news, Indian Express How they voted

It needs to be mentioned that most of the NPs are connected with villages as either farmers themselves or people of allied professions live in these NPs. So, the voters in these NPs are connected with the protests against farm laws. In addition to this, farmers have strictly stated a number of times that they don’t want any politician to visit their villages, they even don’t allow any politician to be part of their dharnas as well. However despite this fact, NPs saw voters turn out to vote in large numbers. Maximum voting happened in Kotshamir NP in Bathinda village which is 88.34 per cent and the second highest polling percentage was 87.12 per cent in Joga NP located in Mansa. Both areas are actively involved in protests against farm laws, though in Joga except one person all other political parties candidates had contested as Independents. In Kotshamir, people had contested on party symbols and even as Independent.

Boha, another NP in Mansa, polled as high as 86.39 per cent. Farmers from Boha regularly go to Delhi borders and as of now 63-year-old Joginder Singh from Boha is in Tihar jail after being arrested on January 29 from Burari ground. Kirtpur Sahib in Ropar district polled 84.64 per cent, while Nihal Singh Wala in Moga polled 84.35 per cent.

Mamdot NP in Ferozepur polled 82.9 per cent, while Badhni Kalan in Moga polled 82.86 per cent both areas closely connected with protests against farm laws.

Arniwala Sheikh Subhan in Fazilka district polled 81.73 per cent, while Amargarh in Sangrur district polled 81.38 per cent. Bhagta Bhaika and Bhai Rupa NPs in Bathinda district polled 81.19 per cent and 81.92 per cent, respectively while Maluka NP in Bathinda polled 81.3 per cent votes.

Protests against farm laws had started from Malwa with Mansa and Bathinda as the epicentres.

However, four out of seven NPs in Bathinda polled above 80 per cent, while all other NPs here polled above the state’s average voter turnout.

Kothaguru is another NP from Bathinda, from where on a daily basis many farmers sit on dharna at Jeeda toll plaza. Poll turnout here as well was 75.11 per cent, which is above state’s average. Mehraj NP, which is Punjab CM’s native place, polled 74.76 per cent. It is also located in Bathinda.

Khamano in Fatehgarh Sahib district had a turnout of 79.60 per cent while Lohian Khas and Mehatpur in Jalandhar had a turnout of 76.45 per cent and 75.87 per cent, respectively. Meanwhile, counting of votes in all ULBs except for Mohali district will happen on Wednesday.

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