SAD-BJP combine creates history, retain hold of MC | punjab | Hindustan Times
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SAD-BJP combine creates history, retain hold of MC

punjab Updated: Jun 11, 2012 11:20 IST
Jasdeep Singh Malhotra
Jasdeep Singh Malhotra
Hindustan Times
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The SAD-BJP alliance created history on Sunday by attaining majority in Jalandhar municipal corporation for the second consecutive term ever since the local body was upgraded to the present status over 20 years ago.

The SAD-BJP alliance bagged 30 seats, with BJP's share being 20. Congress emerged victorious in 22 wards followed by Independents, who bagged seven wards. People's Party of Punjab (PPP) also opened its account, as Sarabjit Kaur won from ward number 56.

The poll percentage was recorded at 62.7%, despite the fact that harsh weather conditions discouraged voters from trooping out of their houses to use their right to vote.

The BJP won 20 of the 38 wards it contested, an increase of one in its tally after the 2007 MC polls. BJP rebels Satya (ward number 32) and Darshan Lal (59) also won. Satya, wife of sitting BJP councillor Kirpal Pali, was denied party ticket and Prabh Dyal was instead declared the official candidate.

Similarly, Darshan Lal, a sitting BJP councillor, was denied ticket. Sources said that both Independents were likely to re-join the party soon to increase the saffron party's tally to 22.

Alliance partner SAD, however, performed poorly as it bagged 10 wards of the 22 it contested. SAD suffered loss of four wards as compared to polls held five years ago. SAD rebels Mandeep Jassal (ward no 13), a relative of chief parliamentary secretary Avinash Chander, and Raminder Kaur Dhindsa (31) won their respective seats.

Dhindsa's husband Iqbal Singh, considered close to former MLA Sarabjit Singh Makkar, was expelled from the party for fielding his wife. The Akali Dal's poor performance was attributed to "wrong distribution of party tickets to non-deserving candidates", insiders said.

In another first, two SAD candidates Kamaljeet Singh Bhatia, senior deputy mayor (ward number 45) and Dalwinder Kaur, wife of sitting councillor Kamaljeet Singh Gandhi, were declared elected unopposed.

While Congress candidate Gulshan Kumar Sarangal joined the SAD to support Bhatia's candidature, Dalwinder was proved lucky as Congress nominee Anita Seth's nomination papers were rejected during scrutiny.

The Congress fared well by bagging 22 of the 60 seats it contested, an increase of three wards over last elections. "The SAD-BJP leadership resorted to use of money and muscle power to rig elections in certain wards. Goonda elements were used to intimidate Congressmen. The results would have been different, had the poll and police officials not sided with the ruling alliance in rigging local polls," Tejinder Bittu, acting chairman of Congress campaign committee, alleged.

Though the BSP had not officially fielded any candidate, its senior leader and former councillor Vipin Kumar (ward number 53) defeated Congress nominee Swaran Singh as an Independent.