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Civic poll results vindication of Congress’ policies: Punjab CM Amarinder

CM Amarinder Singh claimed that the opposition had used all possible tactics from open threats to misleading statements and rumour mongering to intimidate the voters, but failed miserably.

punjab Updated: Dec 17, 2017 22:12 IST
Press Trust of India, Chandigarh
Punjab CM,CM Amarinder Singh,Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh congratulated people for not succumbing to the pressure tactics of the opposition.(HT File Photo)

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday hailed the civic poll results as a clear vindication of the Congress policies and a resounding defeat of the opposition’s ‘deceitful propaganda’.

The Congress on Sunday swept the three municipal corporations of Amritsar, Jalandhar and Patiala. In Patiala, the Congress won 58 wards while the opposition failed to open account.

In Jalandhar, 66 wards fell into the Congress’s kitty, followed by eight which went to BJP and four to their ally SAD. In Amritsar, Congress won 69 while 12 went to the SAD-BJP alliance.

He congratulated people “for not succumbing to the pressure tactics of the opposition, which had tried hard to derail the free and democratic poll process with its cheap gimmickry and provocative acts,” a statement said.

The opposition had used all possible tactics – from open threats to misleading statements and rumour mongering – to intimidate the voters, but failed miserably, he claimed.

“The people had not forgotten what the Akalis had done for 10 years and had responded by voting them out of power in the assembly elections and now handing them a crushing defeat in the local bodies’ elections,” chief minister said.

“As far as the Aam Aadmi Party was concerned, it had come to Punjab like a summer storm but had been completely decimated, with no apparent hope of revival,” Captain said.

“The sweeping victory for the Congress in the local bodies’ elections, which many political pundits and even the media had described as a litmus test for the party, clearly showed that the government was on the right track and people were more than satisfied with its achievements of past nine months,” the chief minister added.

Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar thanked people and party workers for ensuring smooth and impressive turnout in the polls.

“The Akalis tried their best to scare the voters away from booths, especially in areas where the Congress has a stronghold, but failed to intimidate them,” said Jakhar.

Jakhar claimed that this was for the first time in a decade that the polls were held in a free and democratic manner.

“The Akalis, during their 10-year-rule, had brazenly used muscle power to rig the elections. Misuse of police force to intimidate voters and political opponents was common under Akali regime,” he alleged.

The Congress workers too were buoyed by palpable swing in favour of the party in run-up to elections, he further said, and expressed the confidence that with Rahul Gandhi taking over the reins of party high command, the euphoria in party would translate into majority votes for it.

He said Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had lost its ground completely in Punjab, as in the rest of the country, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had also failed to recover from the rout it had witnessed in the assembly elections.

First Published: Dec 17, 2017 22:12 IST