With just four days left for the zila parishad elections scheduled on May 19, the political parties have stepped up their campaign in the rural areas to woo the voters.
The leaders of political parties on Tuesday were busy addressing public gatherings in favour of their candidates at different places in the district. Though 27 candidates of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) for block samitis and one for zila parishad have been declared winners unopposed, the election campaign continued for the remaining seats.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party, the alliance partner in state government, has not been allotted a single seat in block samiti and zila parishads in the district. However, rebel BJP candidate Jairnail Singh is in fray against SAD's Karamjit Singh in Kanaich village.
Even as BJP leadership has been denying the same, the absence of any party candidates from the poll arena has affected the morale of party cadres in rural areas.
“As the party has been allotted no seat to contest in these polls, the cadres were feeling dejected and were finding it tough to get involved in these elections,” said a BJP leader, requesting anonymity.
However, district president BJP (rural) Bikramjeet Singh Cheema said though BJP was not contesting the polls on any of zila parishad and block samiti seats, all BJP workers were working to ensure the victory of the alliance candidates in polls.
“All BJP leaders are canvassing in favour of alliance candidates in polls. I am here in a village in Payal to campaign in favour of one of the alliance candidates,” he said.
On the other hand, District Congress Committee (rural) president Malkit Singh Dakha was busy addressing a party gathering in favour of party's candidate for block samiti zone 13, Karamjit Singh Mintu in Lehra village.
Dakha alleged the ruling alliance was resorting to use of muscle power for winning the rural polls. “Many candidates have been threatened to withdraw their nominations. The ruling alliance wants to win these polls with the use of police force and might,” he alleged.
On the other hand, Dakha MLA and zila parishad chairman Manpreet Singh Ayali rubbished the allegations of Congress and said there was no competition for SAD candidates and polls were going to be a one-sided affair in the district.
Total zila parishad zones: 25
Total block samiti zones: 226
Total number of voters: 10,65,770
Zila parishad seats reserved for SC/ST candidates: 6
Block samiti seats reserved for SC/ST candidates: 39
Zila parishad seats reserved for women: 5
Block samiti seats reserved for women: 42
Zila parishad seats reserved for SC women: 3
Block samiti seats reserved for SC women: 29