Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 7
Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government has decided to hold the elections to the 118 civic bodies in the third week of February.
After the nod of the Chief Minister on Thursday to complete the election process by February 20, a communication in this regard was being sent to the State Election Commission for formal notification of the election schedule.
In the electoral history of urban local bodies (ULBs) in Punjab, it will be for the first time women candidates will be contesting on nearly 50 per cent of the seats in the nine municipal corporations, 109 municipal councils and nagar panchayats that would be going to polls.
Brahm Mohindra, Local Government Minister, said, “After approval from the Chief Minister to hold the polls by February 20, a communication was being sent to the State Election Commission for formal notification of the dates of holding the elections. We are ready for polls.”
“Earlier, the state government had communicated to the State Election Commission to complete the election process by February 13. But after the Local Government department sought a few more days beyond February 13, the government has decided to complete the election process by February 20. It had been mentioned that Deputy Commissioners had sought the time for conduct of the elections,” said a senior government functionary.
Initially, the government had decided to hold the election in October 2019, but due the pandemic it was delayed.
A senior leader said with the BJP writing to the Punjab Governor to postpone the civic body polls citing the law and order situation, it had become all the more important to go for polling to prove the saffron party wrong. The Chief Minister has already stated that BJP was making a frivolous ground of law and order situation as it was trying to divert attention from the farmers’ agitation.
“With almost four years of governance and General Election due in 2022, the civic body polls will be a litmus test for the Congress government in urban areas and the right time to take on the BJP,” said the leader.