Cong fields 12 in Bathinda MC poll, FM disburses grants

Cong fields 12 in Bathinda MC poll, FM disburses grants

FM Manpreet Singh Badal distributes grants ahead of the MC poll in Bathinda. Tribune photo

Sukhmeet Bhasin

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 27

The Congress has taken the lead in the forthcoming Bathinda Municipal Corporation elections by announcing 12 candidates, while the Opposition is still holding meetings to discuss the names of probable nominees.

In its first and second list, the party has fielded senior leaders or their wives. District planning board chairman Jagroop Singh Gill has been fielded from ward 48, while former district party chief Ashok Kumar will fight from ward 37. Bathinda city block Congress president Harvinder Singh Laddu is in fray from ward 36.

PPCC secretary Pawan Mani’s wife Parveen Garg has been fielded from ward 31, former councillor Master Harmander Singh Sidhu from ward 28 and Bathinda block president Baljinder Singh Thekedar from 30.

Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, meanwhile, has started convening public meetings and distributing grants ahead of the elections. On Sunday, he held 10 public meetings here.

For him, it will be a litmus test before the 2022 Assembly elections, more so in light of the last year’s Lok Sabha election results. Congress candidate Amrinder Singh Raja Warring had trailed from Manpreet’s Bathinda (Urban) Assembly segment by around 3,700 votes.

Poll analysts say the task of winning a majority in the MC is not going to be a smooth sailing for the Congress, which has never won an absolute majority in the MC House on its own since 2008, when the city was upgraded to the Municipal Corporation status. Even before that, it had struggled to get a majority.

Another problem for the Congress is the internal rift. More than 10 former SAD, BJP and Independent councillors joined the party in the past. All are eyeing the Congress ticket. It remains to be seen how the party maintains the balance between old leaders and new entrants.

Senior leaders, their wives get ticket

In its first and second list, the party has fielded senior leaders or their wives. District planning board chairman Jagroop Singh Gill has been fielded from ward 48, while former district party chief Ashok Kumar will fight from ward 37. Bathinda city block Congress president Harvinder Singh Laddu is in the fray from ward 36. PPCC secretary Pawan Mani’s wife Parveen Garg has been fielded from ward 31, former councillor Master Harmander Singh Sidhu from ward 28 and Bathinda block president Baljinder Singh Thekedar from 30

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