By Hook Or Crook, Sad Wins In Every Nook
Amritsar/ Bathinda/ Patiala/ Jalandhar May 15:
The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (B) made a clean sweep in block samiti and zila parishad elections in the Majha belt by winning most of the seats in Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Tarn Taran districts.
The counting for the votes began today amidst tight security in the wake of the violence that had erupted during the polling on Monday. Out of the total 173 block samitis in Amritsar, 23 elected their representatives unopposed and out of the remaining 148, the SAD won in over 110 seats, including Chogawan, Tarsikka, Rayya, Majitha, Ajnala, Jandiala Guru, Harshha Chhina and Verka blocks. Out of the total 21 zila parishads in Amritsar, the results for eight were declared, which fell in the Akalis’ lap. The BJP won only one seat in Verka and the Congress gained maximum at Rayya and Jandiala blocks.
In Tarn Taran too, the SAD (B) wrested 106 seats out of the total 145 block samitis and the results of 14 seats were withheld. In Gurdaspur, out of the total 232 block samiti seats, the results of 155 seats were declared, of which 111 were bagged by the Akalis, 19 by the Congress and five went in the bag of the Independents.
In the ZP elections in Gurdaspur, out of 25 total seats, results of 13 were declared today, of which 12 were bagged by the Akalis. Anomalies were found in the Bhikhwind block, where some of the ballots found in the boxes were more that the actually votes cast, indicating “fake voting”.
BATHINDA BATTLE: The SAD (B) won all the 14 zila parishad seats it contested in Bathinda. The BJP, which contested on three seats, failed to make any cut. Out of the total 16 zila parishad seats in the district, the SAD (B) had won unopposed from Bhai Rupa zone, while polling in the Bangi Ruldu zone was deferred.
The SAD (B) candidates also won in block samiti elections in the district.
In Muktsar, the SAD (B) had won four ZP seats till the filing of this report and DC Vikas Garg said the party was leading on six seats by a huge margin. Polling on two ZP seats stands deferred in the district.
In block samiti seats too, SAD virtually made a clean sweep: in Lambi block alone, it won all the 18 block seats. The Congress bagged four block samiti seats in Muktsar. Out of total 24 seats in the block, 18 went the SAD (B) way. The story was no different in Malout, where the ruling party won 14 out of the 15 seats on which elections were held. In Gidderbaha block, SAD (B) won on 14 block samiti seats, while the Congress managed to win one out of the 15 seats, which went to polls.
In Faridkot, where rumours were rife that the Congress was indirectly helping BJP candidates against the SAD (B) candidates at two zila parishad zones, candidates of the saffron party lost at both places. Out of the total 10 ZP seats, six had already been decided unopposed, while one Golewala seat was rendered vacant with no candidate in fray. In Faridkot block samiti seats too, SAD did not face any opposition. It was ditto for Mansa, where SAD (B) emerged as a clear winner.
PATIALA PALETTE: Facing allegations of booth capturing and rigging, the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) swept the zila parishad and block samiti polls in Patiala district. In the zila parishad polls, of the total 21 zones in the district, counting was today held in 15, and majority of the seats went to the SAD, while the Congress won on only two seats.
The counting for the remaining five seats would be held on May 26, after the re-poll, which was ordered following various complaints. In this royal city, while one ZP seat of Bahmana was bagged by SAD candidate Hamir Singh unopposed, 11 seats went to the Akali Dal. The only two Congress candidates declared victorious were Manohar Lal in Kheda Gajju and Harkesh Kaur in Neelpur, who defeated their nearest rivals Ashok Kumar of the SAD and Bhupinder Kaur of the BJP by margins of 2,132 and 488 votes, respectively.
The SAD candidates who won the ZP seats include Jaspal Singh from Kalyan, Surmukh Singh from Bahadurgarh, Fauj Inder Singh from Dudhan Sadhan, Surjit Singh from Bhunerheri, Gurmail Singh from Balbehra, Bhupinder Singh from Maein, Santokh Singh from Dhanetha, Daljit Singh from Arneju, Mohinder Singh from Daftriwala, Gulshan Kaur from Jangpura and Anureet from Loh Sambli. In the block samiti polls too, the SAD came up trumps in the district. Complete results were awaited as counting on most of the seats continued till late night.
DOABA OUTCOME: While the counting for the block samiti seats is still going on, the results of the zila parishad seats have made SAD happy in the three districts of Doaba. In Jalandhar, out of the 21 ZP seats, results of 18 were declared till the filing of this report, and the SAD won on 13, while three went to the Congress and two to independents.
Seven out of 10 ZPs in Nawanshahr and all the 10 seats in Kapurthala were won by Akalis. The Congress won only three seats in Nawanshahr. In Jalandhar, out of the 184 block samitis, the result of 145 were declared, in which 98 went to the SAD, 35 to Congress, two to BJP and 10 to others.
Controversy erupted in Nawanshahr during the counting for Daulatpur zone, when the BSP blocked traffic in front of the counting centre for about half an hour. And when the Congress candidate was declared defeated by a margin of 26 votes, the party activist cried hoarse.
The Congress blocked traffic and raised slogans against the local SAD MLA Jatinder Singh Kariha. Congress MP from Jalandhar Rana Gurjit Singh reached the spot and the workers took out a procession from the counting centre to the Chandigarh Chowk. The MP termed it as "the murder of democracy". Kariha said the allegations were baseless