Amritsar: The SAD has kept its rural turf intact this time too by grabbing almost 50 per cent of the seats unopposed in the upcoming panchayat samiti and zila parishad elections. However, most of the villages lack basic amenities despite the rural population favouring the ruling party.
Besides, the zila parishad hardly has any power or contribution to the rural development agenda.
The ruling SAD had made a clean sweep in the previous zila parishad and panchayat samiti elections in 2008 in Majha region.
This time too, out of the total 21 rural constituencies in Amritsar, nine have already been taken by the SAD. Gurmeet Singh (Jasraur), Ranbir Singh (Lopoke), Sandeep Kaur (Chogawan), Harmeet Kaur (Harsha Chhina), Upkar Singh (Jahangir), Bhagwant Singh (Khasa), Jasbir Kaur (Majitha), Sukhwinder Singh (Tasrikka) and Gurwinder Kaur (Mehta) have been declared unopposed. The Congress did not field any candidate on Lopoke, Jasraur, Chogawan, Harsha Chhina and Jahangir seats.
Among the undisputed winners are the family members or relatives of SAD leaders. Ranbir Singh is the son of former MLA Vir Singh Lopoke whereas Gurwinder Kaur is the wife of SAD MLA Baljit Singh Jalalusma. Others in the fray include: MLA from Baba Bakala Manjit Singh’s brother Ranjit Singh. He is contesting from Baba Bakala.
The contesting candidates are promising safe drinking water, better sanitation services, health services, education, road infrastructure, grants for making houses and hygienic toilets.