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Cong sweeps Punjab urban body polls, BJP faces fire amid farmers’ protest

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Chandigarh: Registering a clean victory in Punjab’s urban body polls, Congress party on Wednesday bagged all the seven municipal corporations in the state for which the results were declared today: Moga, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Abohar, Pathankot, Batala, and last but not the least Bathinda, which saw congress return after 53 years. Mohali’s results will be declared on Thursday.

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The Bathinda Lok Sabha constituency is represented by Harsimrat Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which recently parted ways with long-time ally BJP following a raging protest spearheaded by farmers of the state against Centre’s three new ‘farm’ laws.

Bathinda urban assembly seat is represented by Congress MLA and state finance minister, Manpreet Singh Badal, who is also a cousin of SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal.

The current scenario doesn’t seem to favour BJP even though it was seen as an urban voter base party and had been in alliance with the SAD until outraged farmers of the states changed the dynamics over the past few months.

On February, at least 109 municipal councils and Nagar-panchayats and seven municipal corporations went to the polls, witnessing around 71.39 per cent voter turnout amid the state famers’ protest against Centre’s contentious farm laws.

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Meanwhile, a re-polling was held on Tuesday in a few booths, the results of which will also be announced today. The poll panel has also ordered re-polling today in booth numbers 32 and 33 of the Mohali municipal corporation between 8 am to 4 pm. Therefore, counting for that corporation will be held only on Thursday.

A total 9,222 candidates are in the fray, of which, independents form the biggest chunk with 2,832; whereas the Congress has the largest number of contestants among the official parties at 2,037 – its Muktsar candidate has already won unopposed. The BJP, which is facing outarge over the farm laws, managed to field only 1,003. Also, the party is contesting without its ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) this time. The SAD itself has 1,569 candidates.

Of the total 2,215 wards, up to 1,480 are of general category, while 610 are in the Scheduled Caste and 125 in Backward Caste segments.

The polls were held when tens of thousands farmers from the state, along with others from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, have been camped around Delhi from November 26 staging protest against the central farm laws. Over 150 protesters have reportedly died till now due to various reasons, including harsh weather and aslo suicides.

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