Civic polls in Punjab: Congress wins hands down in Mohali
The Congress secured clear majority in five of the seven municipal councils in Mohali, while the contest in the remaining two ended in a hung house.
Winning comfortably in Kurali and Banur, the party also snatched Dera Bassi, Zirakpur and Lalru – all bastions of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
The Congress also bagged the most seats in Kharar, but couldn’t dominate the House; while in Nayagaon, SAD led the tally, also without majority, causing a hung house in both civic bodies.
In all, the grand old party was victorious on 85 of the 145 seats in the seven municipalities. SAD won on 34 seats, while the Bharatiya Janata Party was restricted to five and the Aam Aadmi Party managed to win on only one.
Stronghold of late Akali minister Captain Kanwaljit Singh and then SAD MLA NK Sharma, Dera Bassi constituency didn’t see the party lose any MC election for 18 years in Zirakpur, and 10 years in Dera Bassi and Lalru, until the Congress on Wednesday wrested 48 of the 67 seats in the three towns.
Even, in Banur and Kurali, Congress won with clear majority, securing 21 of 30 seats.
The largest municipality among the seven and traditionally a fiefdom of SAD, Zirakpur chose Congress on 23 of the 31 seats and Akali Dal on eight, while BJP and AAP drew a blank.
The Zirakpur MC was formed in 2000 and saw its first elections in 2003, when NK Sharma became its president. He was re-elected in 2008 and resigned in 2012 on becoming the local MLA, when his close aide Kulwinder Singh Sohi took the reins of the post, never allowing the Congress to make its presence felt in the area. Since 2015, the MC here had 28 councillors from the SAD-BJP combine, while three were independents.
Dethroning SAD, which ruled Lalru for 10 years, Congress won on 12 of the 17 seats, while two seats went to SAD and three to independents. For the past five years, the Lalru MC House had only SAD-BJP councillors. This time, Congress and SAD had fielded candidates from all wards, AAP 15 and the BJP only seven.
Snatching the municipality from SAD after 10 years, Congress bagged 13 of the total 19 seats, while SAD was restricted to three. Independents won on two seats and BJP managed to secure one seat, while AAP failed to open its account. In the last term, all 19 seats were won by the SAD-BJP alliance. While Congress and SAD had contested these elections on all 19 seats, BJP fielded 14 candidates, AAP 18 and BSP had one candidate in fray.
In Banur, which was once the stronghold of SAD under late Captain Kanwaljit Singh, the Akali Dal managed to win on only one seat, while the remaining 12 went to Congress. SAD had fielded eight candidates, while Congress contested from all seats. Even AAP had contested from seven wards, but was not picked anywhere. BJP did not even enter the fray here. In the last term, Congress had six members in the House, SAD four, three were independents and one member was from BJP.
Kurali voted for Congress on nine of the 17 seats. Winning five seats, independent candidates here bagged more seats than the SAD (2) and BJP (1). For the past one decade, SAD was ruling the House. In 2015, SAD-BJP had won nine seats, Congress six and two were won by independents, who later joined SAD.
It’s only in Nayagaon where SAD managed to save face by securing 10 of the total 21 seats, yet could not secure a majority. Here, Congress won on six seats, while three went to BJP and two to independents. Nayagaon, which falls under the Kharar assembly constituency, is represented by AAP MLA Kanwar Sandhu. Congress and SAD fielded all candidates, while BJP contested from 15 wards and AAP from seven. In the last term, SAD ruled the council with only its councillors in the House.
Congress secured the most seats in Kharar, winning in 10 of the 27 wards, but could not manage a majority, leading to a hung house just like in Nayagaon. Here, eight independents won, the most in all seven councils, while SAD also clinched eight seats and one went to AAP. According to Congress, they have the support of the eight independents, who will help elect a president from the party.