Highlights | Congress sweeps civic polls in Punjab; ‘can’t get a better result than this’, says Captain
The municipal elections to three corporations — Amritsar Jalandhar & Patiala and 29 municipal councils and Nagar Panchayats began at 8am on Sunday and the ruling Congress virtually swept the wards in the three important corporations as results were out by late evening, prompting celebrations in the ruling camp.
As many as 925 candidates were in fray for the elections to the three municipal corporations. A total of 8,000 election staff and 15,500 police personnel were assigned for poll duty. The Akali Dal-BJP and AAP had accused the Congress of misusing its power in the run-up to the municipal polls.
Among the three municipal corporations, Patiala registered the highest poll percentage of over 62.22 per cent followed by Jalandhar at 57.2 and Amritsar at 51 per cent while the voting percentage in the municipal councils and nagar panchayats ranged between 60-86 per cent.
Here are the highlights:
■ 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 8 which went to BJP and four to their ally SAD.
■ In Amritsar, Congress won 69 while 12 went to the SAD-BJP alliance.
8: 35 pm: Our candidates and polling agents were thrown out of booths, media persons were beaten & booth was captured at every place. For the first time, state EC and govt became one and captured EVMs. We are going to high court against this criminal conspiracy, says SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal: ANI
8: 03 pm: BJP stages dharna on Majitha road, Amritsar
7: 35 pm: In Patiala, out of 60 seats, 56 results are declared, won those 56. Similarly in Jalandhar, out of 80, 77 are declared and 63 we have won. In Amritsar, out of 85, 61 have been declared, 45 we have won, says Amarinder Singh: ANI
7: 30 pm: Election results have been very good, we are very pleased. You can’t get a better result than this. Out of three corporations, we have swept polls and won all of them, says chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh: ANI
5: 55 pm: Congress leads at most of the wards.
5: 30 pm: Congress sweeps Nagar Panchayat polls in Majha, wins 38 seats out of 39 seats.
4: 30 pm: Counting of votes underway in three municipal corporation - Amritsar, Jalandhar & Patiala.
4: oo pm: Voting concludes at all the booths.
3:41 pm: 42% polling recorded in Amritsar till 3 pm.
3:28 pm: SAD-BJP delegation led by former minister Daljeet Singh Cheema meets chief electoral officer in Chandigarh on Sunday and demand cancellation of the civic body polls in Patiala. They have also given a deadline to take any action by 5 pm.
3:02pm: SAD-BJP leaders stage dharna outside the Punjab chief electoral officer in Chandigarh. The delegation has registered a formal complaint with the CEO demanding cancelation of polls in Patiala.
2:45pm: 32% polling recorded in Amritsar till 2 pm
1:57pm: Punjab local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who came to cast his vote along with his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu in ward number 9, said the party will gift victory to Rahul Gandhi in Punjab civic body polls for becoming the national president of AICC.
Ruling out any kind of ‘excesses’ by the Congress, he stated that free and fair elections are being witnessed across the state. He said the Congress will shower development grants once it takes over. He added that Rs 15 crore will be allotted for sewarage in Amritsar.
1:49pm: SAD says it is boycotting the civic polls after reports of rigging and booth capturing emerged in Patiala. MP Prem Chandumajra held meeting with senior leaders on Sunday morning and said ,“This is not the way to hold elections in a democratic system.”
1:33 pm: Akali Dal workers reportedly open fire in the air in Patiala. No injuries reported. Both SAD and Congress workers allegedly pelted stones after they clashed on the Nabha-Patiala road.
12:37 pm: An approximate of 25% voter turnout till in Amritsar till 12 pm.
12:30 pm: 25% polling recorded in Patiala till 12 pm. Minor incidents of violence reported after clash between Congress and SAD workers here in Patiala.
12:28 pm: Alleging rigging and booth capturing in Patiala civic poll, member of Parliament from Anandpur Sahib Prem Singh Chandumajra and his supporters sit on a dharna outside the residence of Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
12:11 pm: 29.79% voter turnout till 12 pm has been recorded in the Jalandhar municipal elections.
12:05 pm: Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and his wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu cast their votes at Ward No 9’s polling station 5 in Amritsar
11:33 am: 10.43 % polling till 10 am in Jalandhar.
10:20 am: Police have deployed 6,800 personnel in Amritsar and Jalandhar. In Amritsar, 4,000 police personnel will be deployed and the administration has set up 748 polling booths at 365 polling stations.
10:11am: As many as 118 polling stations have been declared hyper-sensitive, 155 sensitive and 92 non-sensitive.
9:45 am: 12% polling till 10 am in Patiala.
9:15 am: 9% polling till 10 am in Amritsar.
8:45 am: The voting will continue till 4 pm. The main contest is among the ruling Congress, main opposition Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Aam Aadmi Party BJP alliance.
8.30 am: Voting for the Punjab municipal elections began at 8am.
Local issues of towns and cities and the respective wards dominated the campaigning for the municipal elections. A total of 413 candidates are in the fray in 85 wards of Amritsar where 769,153 voters will exercise their franchise.
In Jalandhar, 305 candidates are contesting from 80 wards. In Patiala, election will be held in 57 wards in which 260,664 voters can exercise their franchise.
This is the first big election in the state after the Congress government, led by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, came to power after the assembly polls in March.
The Congress won 77 out of 117 seats in the assembly. The AAP finished second with 20 seats.