Polls to 66 Punjab municipal councils, rural bodies in November

The elections to the five municipal corporations — Jalandhar, Amritsar, Phagwara, Patiala and Ludhiana — are expected to be announced in the coming days.

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Polls to 66 Punjab municipal councils, rural bodies in November

Chandigarh: The political scene in Punjab is all set to hot up ahead of the 2024 General Election with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government giving a go-ahead to elections in 66 municipal councils and nagar panchayats in November.

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The elections to the five municipal corporations — Jalandhar, Amritsar, Phagwara, Patiala and Ludhiana — are expected to be announced in the coming days. The government is expected to notify soon elections to the panchayat samitis and zila parishads, said a senior government functionary. The elections are being seen as a test of the performance of AAP in urban, semi-urban and rural areas. After coming to power in March 2022 by winning 92 seats in the 117-member state Assembly, the party lost the Sangrur Lok Sabha bypoll in June last year. However, it is upbeat now after its victory in the Jalandhar Lok Sabha byelection in May. Opposition parties — Congress, SAD and BJP — are also bracing for the coming elections. Working president of Punjab Congress, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, said the Congress was geared up to contest the municipal corporation elections, besides fielding candidates for other civic elections.

Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Cheema said that the stage was set for holding civic body polls. “We will soon take a decision if the polls are to be contested on party symbol or not,” he said on Thursday.

Officials in the Local Government Department said so far, elections to 39 municipal councils and nagar panchayats and bypolls in 27 municipal councils and nagar panchayats have been notified. There are a total of 167 civic bodies and 13 municipal corporations in the state.

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