With the ruling dispensation having received a drubbing in Bathinda (urban) assembly segment of the Bathinda parliamentary constituency, it might further delay the elections to the municipal corporation, Bathinda (MCB).
The SAD candidate, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who won parliamentary elections by a slender margin of 19,395 votes, trailed behind the Congress candidate, Manpreet Singh Badal by 29,316 votes in the city. Out of total 202 polling booths in the city, SAD lagged behind the Congress in all but three, which reflects the resentment among the urban voters against the state government.
Looking into the circumstances, the state government might opt to further delay the elections to this urban body so that the voters' mood could change with the passage of time.
The first House of the MCB for which elections were held in June 2008 has completed its term on July 9 last year. As per the provisions, the elections to new House should be held within six months after the term of the existing House expires. The state government, however, can take a decision to hold the elections at its own level.
Importantly, the Congress, even before the parliamentary elections, had complained that the state government was deliberately delaying the urban body elections here to avoid defeat due to alleged anti-people policies being pursued by it.
However, the government had been claiming that the ongoing process of delimitation of wards on the basis of the 2011 population census was the reason behind the delay in the MCB elections.
Former Congress MLA Harminder Singh Jassi claimed that the state government had delayed the polls earlier to avoid defeat and it can further postpone the polls as the city voters have given a strong verdict against the government.
He said the city residents are made to suffer without their elected representatives because there is nobody to raise their issues before the administration.
District BJP president Parminder Goyal said the delimitation process was the reason behind the delay conducting MCB polls and he expects that polls will be held in three-four months.
Additional secretary, local bodies department, Prem Chand Arora said the decision with regard to conducting the polls is purely a political decision. "The state government and state election commission have to decide in this regard and we will only implement the decision," he said.
In the 50-member House of MCB, SAD had 24 councillors and BJP 14. The Congress had six members and six were independent councillors.