Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday hailed the sweeping Congress victory in the just concluded Panchayat elections in the state as a victory of democracy and a clear vindication of his government's policies.
The Chief Minister also congratulated the people of Punjab for ensuring a largely peaceful poll, in which a whopping 80.38 per cent of the people exercised their franchise - a record for the state.
Singh lauded the security forces for maintaining law and order during the elections.
"Undeterred by the false propaganda unleashed by the Opposition parties, including the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), against the Congress government, the voters came out in large numbers without fear to cast their votes in favour of our party's candidates," said Captain Amarinder.
"This shows that the disillusionment of the electorate with the SAD and other opposition parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), was complete," said the Chief Minister, adding that the people of Punjab were no longer willing to be misled by the canards being spread by these parties.
Amarinder asserted that the Panchayat polls indicated the palpable pro-Congress mood in the state ahead of the next year's Lok Sabha elections while expressing the confidence that his party would win the parliamentary polls as well.
"The people of Punjab had seen the development and progress of the past 21 months, since the Congress government took over, as against the utter ruination into which the erstwhile SAD-BJP regime had plunged the state during 10 years of their misrule," he said.
"The negative campaigning of the opposition, which was clearly bereft of any positive agenda, had also contributed to the Congress victory in the Panchayat elections, and would continue to stand the party in good stead in the Lok Sabha polls," Amarinder added.
Of the 13,175 Sarpanches announced elected so far, 11,241 belonged to the Congress, with SAD and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accounting for only 981 and 100 respectively. Other smaller parties and independents accounted for 813 of the elected Sarpanches.
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