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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

Ludhiana MC polls: Congress pulls landslide win, bags 62 of 95 seats

The party has won a majority in the MC house after a gap of 10 years.

punjab Updated: Feb 27, 2018 19:47 IST
Tarsem Singh Deogan
Tarsem Singh Deogan
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Supporters of Congress celebrate in Ludhiana as the party clean sweeps municipal corporation polls on Tuesday.
Supporters of Congress celebrate in Ludhiana as the party clean sweeps municipal corporation polls on Tuesday.(Gurminder Singh/HT)

The Congress on Tuesday won the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) elections by a landslide, bagging 62 of a total of 95 seats, amid allegations of booth capturing and bogus voting.

The party has mustered a majority in the civic body after a gap of 10 years. The counting was held at nine centers in the city.

The Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party ((SAD-BJP) alliance, which ruled the municipal corporation in the last two tenures, could manage only 21 seats.

The elections also proved to be a setback to local MLA Simarjit Singh Bains-led Lok Insaaf Party (LIP), which contested the polls in alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Of the 59 candidates the alliance fielded, the LIP’s seven nominees won from while the AAP, which debuted in the Ludhiana MC polls, could secure just one seat.

The AAP candidate from ward 11, Balwinder Kaur, wife of AAP district president Daljit Singh Grewal, is the lone winner among the party candidates. Four independent candidates also clinched victory.

Pushwant Kaur Gohalwaria, wife of outgoing SAD mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, also lost her seat. She was contesting from ward 41. LIP’s Charanjit Kaur won from the ward.

SAD candidate from ward 3, Ninderjit Kaur Dhillon, wife of former MLA and SAD district president Ranjit Singh Dhillon, lost to Congress candidate Pallvi Vinayak of the Congress.

The Congress has improved its tally by a significantly as compared to the 2012 and 2007 MC elections. The party had won 19 and 17 of a total of 75 seats in the 2012 and 2007 polls.

In 2012, the SAD-BJP alliance was in majority with 39 seats (SAD-27, BJP-12). Independent candidates had bagged 17 seats.

This time, a total of 494 contestants were in the fray from 95 wards. The voting turnout on Saturday was 59 per cent in the city which has 10.50 lakh voters.

On Monday, re-poll to two booths of ward 44 was held after claims of booth capturing and bogus voting. Congress candidate Harkaran Singh Vaid, son of MLA Kuldeep Singh Vaid, defeated his SAD rival Meetpal Singh Dugri with a margin of 221 votes from the ward.

SAD district president Ranjit Singh Dhillon said the Congress won the election by indulging in hooliganism and threatening people. Several cases of violence were reported in the city on the polling day. The SAD-BJP leaders have met the Punjab governor demanding re-polling in all 95 wards.

Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu said they contested the election on development plank and the voters cast their votes as they feel that only the party can bring development to the city.

He said the top leaders of the SAD-BJP did not campaign in the run-up to the election as they were not able to face people of the city as they did not do anyhing in the last 10 years.

Refuting allegations of booth capturing and bogus voting, he said the Congress will take along the elected councillors of all parties for the city’s development.

(The story has been updated)

First Published: Feb 27, 2018 13:52 IST