Displaying his supremacy in the rural Akali politics of Ludhiana district, Punjab PWD minister Sharanjeet Singh Dhillon has managed to get 42 sarpanches elected unopposed from the Sahnewal assembly segment represented by him.
In the Ludhiana-2 development block, which covers the Sahnewal assembly segment; out of total 290 panchyats, 42 sarpanches were elected by forming a consensus, which as per Dhillon are SAD supporters.
In the Dakha constituency, represented by SAD MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali, and is divided into Sidhwan Bet, Sudhar and Pakhowal development blocks; as many as 20 sarpanches were elected unopposed.
In the Samrala and Khanna assembly segments constituencies, both represented by Congress MLAs; the SAD claimed to get 29 and 18 sarpanches elected, respectively, unopposed - claiming that they are having allegiance with the ruling party.
Out of the total 928 panchyats in the district, 157 sarpanches were elected unopposed; and 1,975 candidates are left in the fray from 12 development blocks.
"All unopposed elected sarpanches are supported by the SAD. These rural polls are just a hint to the Congress of its dwindling fate that it would be meeting with during the upcoming Lok Sabha polls," claimed the PWD minister, expressing his confidence that the SAD would make a clean sweep on July 3 (scheduled panchayat polls) as well.
However, notwithstanding the SAD's projection, the Congress termed the figures mere farce, adding that it was the result of the mass use of administration and police against the Congress candidates.
Ludhiana district Congress president (rural), Malkiat Singh Dakha, said: "First, the figures projected by the SAD are absolutely wrong. Second, in the villages they used all their possible might to ensure that Congressmen do not file their nominations. Actually democracy has been killed by the SAD in these polls."
A total of is 2,067 panchayat members were elected unopposed in the district while 8,562 candidates are still in the fray.
There will be no elections in 131 villages of the district, as members have been elected unanimously.
Blocks Sarpanches elected unopposed
Sidhwan Bet 13