After massive Congress victory in Punjab civic polls, Lok Sabha sweep expected

After the ruling Congress won a massive 81% of Panchayat Samiti seats and 93% of Zila Parishad seats in Punjab’s civic bodies polls, it can realistically expect to sweep all 13 Lok Sabha seats

After massive Congress victory in Punjab civic polls, Lok Sabha sweep expected
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NH Political Bureau

The ruling Congress in Punjab won a massive majority of seats in the Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti elections, whose results were announced on September 22. The Congress won a staggering 81% of Panchayat Samiti seats and 93% of Zila Parishad seats in Punjab’s civic bodies polls, which were held across the state.

In a video message to voters and Congress workers on September 23, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh euphorically expressed congratulations and heartfelt gratitude for scripting a sweeping victory for Congress.


What’s making Singh so euphoric is the fact that Congress has gained even further electorally, since it won the state assembly elections in early 2017, where it holds a two-thirds majority. Congress has handily won three by-elections in the state since the assembly polls, including to the Lok Sabha seats of Amritsar and Gurdaspur, and the Shahkot assembly bypoll. Congress also emerged victorious in Punjab’s Municipal Councils and Nagar Panchayat elections held in December 2017.

While BJP and AAP fared poorly in the by-elections and earlier municipal polls, Singh has now also delivered a humiliating defeat to the Shiromani Akali Dal, with Congress sweeping the Akali’s home turfs of Muktsar, Ferozepur and Bathinda. SAD Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal would be worried about her party’s showing in her constituency, Bathinda. Congress won 121 of 148 Panchayat Samiti seats here, and all 16 Zila Parishad seats.

The Congress has also wiped out the Aam Aadmi Party in the state. The controversy-ridden AAP—which emerged as the main Opposition in Punjab but has seen desertions of MLAs and supporters since—won a measly 20, or 0.6%, of 2,899 Panchayat Samiti seats, and drew a blank in the Zila Parishads.

The assembly election results in 2017 showed Congress leading in 10 and and AAP in 3 out of Punjab’s 13 Lok Sabha seats. At present, the SAD-BJP combine holds five (four SAD, one BJP), while the Congress has four seats and AAP another four. Subsequent local elections show that both BJP and AAP face a Lok Sabha wipeout in the state. However, though it was previously thought that only the Badal family that heads the SAD has prospects of retaining at least its present Lok Sabha seat of Bathinda, if not more, the latest Panchayat Samiti and Zila Parishad results shows that even the Badal family seats like Bathinda are not safe.

Expectations among party workers, whose morale has never been higher, are thus high that Congress could sweep all of Punjab’s 13 Lok Sabha seats in the next general election due in 2019.

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