In Batala, Cong seeks to ride development wave

Ravi Dhaliwal

Tribune News Service

Batala, February 5

The ruling Congress is seeking to ride the development wave in the MC poll by the works initiated by it in the city even as the two other mainstream parties — the BJP and SAD — find themselves sidelined due to different reasons.

While the farmers’ stir has pegged the BJP on the backfoot, the SAD is yet to set its house in order. All three parties have announced their candidates. The Congress has dropped some of itstop guns, including former MC vice-president Harinder Singh Kalsi. Naveen Nayyar, sister of former MLA Ashwani Sekhri, has been fielded from Kalsi’s ward, a development, which has created fissures within the party.

Notwithstanding the politicking involved while distributing tickets, locals have surely taken a liking to the “unprecedented development initiatives the city is witnessing”.

The last MC House was controlled by the BJP whose senior leader Naresh Mahajan remained the president.

Cabinet Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa is the fulcrum around whom all developmental initiatives revolve. The new roads lined with interlocking tiles on both sides and other infrastructure, including construction of three bridges over Hansli drain, have come up after decades of agonising wait.

Another factor that is sure to go in favour of the Congress is that the ruling dispensation in Chandigarh is being controlled by the same party. In 2017, barely months after the party was elected to power, the Congress had swept the MC poll of Patiala, Amritsar and Jalandhar with a majority. So much so, the party won a staggering 59 of 60 seats in Patiala. In 2018, the Congress again decimated its rivals by winning 62 of the 95 wards in the Ludhiana MC poll.

“You sow what you reap. When the SAD-BJP combine was in power from 2007 to 2017, it swept aside all civic body polls. Now it is payback time. These things are normal in politics and nothing much should be read in them,” said a former MLA.

Observers claim that with the party ticking all boxes on the development front and with a favourable dispensation at the top, it will be a tough road ahead for the SAD and the BJP.

In Batala, Cong seeks to ride development wave