The Punjab BJP, which had decided to contest the Cantonment Board elections in Jalandhar and Ferozepur alone, has suffered a setback, managing to win only two of the 15 seats at these places.
The SAD, which had fielded its own candidates, won nine seats, the Congress three and Independents one.
Though the elections were not held on party symbols, the contest had brought leaders and workers of the three parties in support of their candidates face to face in these wards, all of which fall in urban areas.
In Ferozepur, which is home town of Punjab BJP chief Kamal Sharma, the BJP witnessed a humiliating defeat with the Akali Dal-backed nominees grabbing five of the eight seats and the BJP winning only one. The Congress won one.
In Jalandhar, the BJP’s tally was reduced from three to one in the results that came on Sunday evening. The SAD got four of the seven seats. The Congress won two. In Jalandhar, in the last term, the saffron party had held the post of vice-president of the cantonment board with its kitty of three members. This time, the party is left high and dry with reports that on a few seats the party even supported the Congress-backed candidates.
Though BJP president Kamal Sharma said that in Ferozepur, in terms of votes the BJP’s performance had improved, the results are being seen as result of Sharma’s “weak” hold in his home constituency.
Sharma had personally led the election campaign in Ferozepur that saw an active door-to-door campaign with the state BJP chief Sharma virtually camping in Ferozepur for the polls. He also brought union minister of state Vijay Sampla to campaign in these polls.
“In the last elections, the joint candidate of the SAD-BJP had managed to get only 2,800 votes. This time, we got double the number of votes alone. It’s a welcome beginning,” said Sharma. “On three seats, we were number two,” he said.
Voters opted for fresh faces with seven of the sitting members of Cantonment Board (Ferozepur) (CBF) losing their seats. By grabbing five wards at CBF, Akalis would secure the post of vice-president. The Akali Dal’s victory in these polls is a big boost for the party as it had registered only a meagre presence here in the Lok Sabha and assembly polls.
The outcome of the CBF poll is also not a good sign for Congress MLA Parminder Singh Pinki, whose own house falls in the cantonment. All his nominees barring one lost.
Following the results, confusion prevailed over the claims made by different political parties over their tally. In Jalandhar, Sharma claimed that the party had backed only one candidate and he had won, and in Ferozepur, he claimed the party had won two seats. In Jalandhar, SAD MLA Pargat Singh admitted that they had a “tactical” understanding with the BJP on a few seats but there was no clear formula over seat-sharing. Congress leader Jagbir Brar claimed that four Congress-supported candidates had won the polls whereas the SAD was restricted to two and the BJP to one.
Ferozepur: Rohit Gill (SAD), Surinder Singh (SAD), Deepti Kad (SAD), Sushil Goyal (SAD), Sapna Tayal (independent), Reena Monga (Congress), Sebastain Rai (SAD).
Jalandhar: Sanjeev Trehan (SAD), Suresh Kumar (Congress), Puneet Kaur (SAD), Rajinder Raju (SAD), Rajinder Sharma (Congress), Bharat Atwal (SAD), Sneha Gupta (BJP).