Though riding on the claims of emerging victorious in the upcoming MC elections in Punjab, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCB) has admitted that Dera Bassi constituency is its weak link.
PPCC president Partap Singh Bajwa admitted that Congress veteran Deepinder Singh Dhillon’s move to join the Shiromani Akali Dal in 2012 had proven to be a major jolt to the party’s local unit.
Having being denied a Congress ticket in the 2012 Assembly Polls, a dejected Dhillon had contested independently, but lost to SAD candidate NK Sharma. He then decided to join the Akali Dal, and moved on to be Banur MLA through byelections, but later resigned. He is currently the chief of the SAD’s Patiala rural unit, besides heading the Patiala District Planning Board.
Bajwa admitted that when Dhillon switched sides, around 70% of the Congress supporters in the constituency followed him, affecting Congress’ stand in Zirakpur, Dera Bassi and Lalru, and ultimately in the civic body polls.
While the SAD-BJP alliance is contesting from all seats in the three civic bodies, the Congress has fielded only 24 candidates in the 67 wards of Zirakpur municipal council, Dera Bassi municipal committee and Lalru nagar panchayat.
With this, the SAD-BJP seems to be facing contest only from independent candidates, with the Congress ostensibly contesting the elections just to save face.
Zirakpur municipal council
7 against 31 wards
Dera Bassi municipal committee
8 against 19 wards
Lalru Nagar Panchayat
7 candidates for 17 wards