Independents galore in Jalandhar and Dhuri

  • Jatinder Kohli, Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • Updated: Feb 18, 2015 09:33 IST

As many as 57% candidates are contesting independently for elections in six municipal councils and two nagar panchayats of the district that are going to polls on February 25.

Surprisingly, major political parties including the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine and Congress have not gone all out in the elections, which are being deemed as the semi-finals for the 2017 assembly polls.

Bahujan Samaj Party is the only political party contesting in Nurmahal with candidates on five out of the 13 wards. Meanwhile there are 31 independent candidates in fray.

In Alawalpur municipal council, SAD has fielded only one candidate and 31 out of the total 32 candidates are independents.

SAD is also not participating in Phillaur municipal council elections, where 35 out of the total 55 candidates are independents.

Left parties — Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India (Marxist) — are also nowhere to be seen in the six municipal councils and two nagar panchayats despite having support in rural areas.

As per details gathered from district administration, out of 323 candidates, 183 are independents.

The remaining 140 includes: 23 are from BJP, 45 from SAD, 51 from Congress, 19 from BSP and two from Peoples’ Party of Punjab. 37% candidates are women.

A senior party leader from party said that all of major political parties including SAD, BJP and Congress have not fielded their own candidates due to recent controversies and infighting between leaders.

Moreover, party workers are preferring to contest independently in order to get support from people belonging to all categories.

big parties fail to field candidates

All the political parties have failed to field their candidates in almost all 21 wards of the Dhuri municipal council. Only Independent candidates are in the fray. Most of them, rejecting party symbols, preferred to contest the polls as Independent canidates.

Interestingly, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had recently showered grants of several crores of rupees for developmental projects in the Dhuri assembly segment, but they seem to have not helped to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in the town as the party could not find candidates for the election and managed to field its candidate on only one seat, whereas 13 candidates refused to accept the party symbol and are contesting as Independents.

The condition of the Congress is also worse as no party candidate is in the fray and it is supporting Independents on all 21 seats. The Congress had won 11 seats out of 17 in the municipal committee polls in 2003.

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