(3)       Financial Assistance to the Depending Children.—Initiated in March 1968, the scheme aims at providing to orphan and destitute children under the age of 16 years, who have either lost their parents or whose parents are unable to maintain them due to some incurable disease or permanent physical disability. In the case of more than one deserving child in a family, preference in the grant of financial assistance, is given to school-going children. The initial financial assistance of Rs 20 per month per child was raised to Rs 50 per month with effect from 1 March 1974.

 

            The amount disbursed under the scheme and the number of beneficiaries in the district during 1977-78 to 1988-89, are given below :

 

1.      Year

Amount disbursed
(Rs)

Number of
beneficiaries

1977-78

--

15

1978-79

--

17

1979-80

--

26

1980-81

69,355

204

1981-82

1,37,346

256

1982-83

1,37,260

197

1983-84

1,74,687

201

1984-85

1,61,605

181

1985-86

2,29,923

338

1986-87

2,31,848

311

1987-88

2,78,500

382

1988-89

2,59,850

363

(Source : Director, Social Welfare, Punjab and District Social Welfare Officer, Bathinda).

 

            (4)       Special Nutrition Programme.—Under this programme, protein diet is provided to children in the age of 0-6 yars and to expectant and nursing mothers living in urban slum areas of the State. The diet is supplied for 300 days in a year. The rate of diet is 35 paise for children and 60 paise for mothers per day. Ten paise per day per beneficiary for administration is also included in the rate. In Bathinda District, the scheme has been functioning in village Nathana since 1978.

 

            (5)       Financial Assistance to Victims of Chronic Disease.—This scheme was introduced in the State in 1974-75 and was extended to Bathinda District on 2 October 1981. It aims at providing financial assistance up to Rs 100 per month per head to patients of chronic diseases, who have been discharged from hospitals, to enable them to continue treatment and special diet at home. A person who is suffering from chronic diseases like tuberculosis, leprosy, etc. or is mentally ill and is not in a position to bear the cost of medicines is also eligible for the grant of financial assistance on the recommended of the Civil Surgeon of the district provided the annual income of the family does not exceed Rs 3,000 per annum from all sources. A sum of Rs 1,70,000 was provided as financial assistance to 126 beneficiaries in the district during 1988-89.

 

            (6)       Institution under the East Punjab Children Act.—The implementation of he East Punjab Children Act was taken up by the Social Welfare Department in 1969. Under this scheme, destitute, delinquent and the school drop outs, who due to immaturity commit some crime between the age of 8 to 16 years, are treated and provided congenial atmosphere for their physical and mental development and normalisation in the institutins functioning under this Act. Inmates are provided free board, lodging, clothing, medical assistance, education and vocational training to help them to become normal and law-abiding citizens. One Reception-cum-Observation Home at Bathinda is functioning in the district.

 

            (7)       Financial Assistance to Victims of Riots.—This scheme was started in 1985 with a view to providing the financial assistance to the victims of riots for grant of pension to widows. Financial assistance of Rs 250 per month per widow is provided to the widows whose husbands were killed during the riots following the assassination of former Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi on 31 October 1984.

 

            The amount disbursed under the scheme and the number of beneficiaries in the district during 1985-86 to 1988-89 are given below :

 

2.      Year

Amount disbursed
(Rs)

Number of
beneficiaries

1985-86

8,500

2

1986-87

11,700

3

1987-88

5,000

2

1988-89

6,000

2

            (Source : Director, Social Welfare, Punjab, Chandigarh)

 

            (8)       Financial Assistance to Widows whose husbands were killed by Terrorists.—This scheme was introduced in the State in August 1982. Under this scheme, financial assistance of Rs 250 per month per widow is given.

 

            The amount disbursed under he scheme and the number of beneficiaries in the district during 1986-87 to 1988-89 are given below :

 

3.      Year

Amount disbursed
(Rs)

Number of
beneficiaries

1986-87

48,500

7

1987-88

16,000

4

1988-89

12,600

7

 

 

(e)       Public Trusts, Charitable Endownments and Muslim Waklfs.

 

            In every society, there are certain voluntary organizations which endeavour for bringing about improvement in the society in various spheres, such as social, religious, education, etc. Public and charitable endownments fall among these categories of organizations. Many educational institutions, hospitals, dharamshalas and other social welfare organizations are either run or materially aided by these endownments. There are certain philanthrophists who make liberal contribution to the funds of these organizations.

 

            A brief description of the public trusts, charitable endownments and Muslim Wakfs which are functioning in the district is given below :

 

            (1)       Kundan Lal Jain Ashram Trust, Bathinda.—It was founded by Shri Kundan Lal in 1974. It was 3 members. It also manages the affairs of the dharamshalas constructed for the stay of the travellers and visitors to the city.

 

            (2)       Seth Bhana mal Trust, Bathinda.—It was founded by Bhana Mal in 1974. It has also 3 members. It has one dharamshalas for the stay of the travellers and visitors and is maintained by its devotees.

 

            (3)       Shri Ramji Dass Education and Charitable Trust, Bathinda.—It was founded by Sarvshri Sohan Lal, Raj Kumar and Pawan Kumar in 1968. It grants scholarship to the brilliant and poor students. Besides, some medicines are provided by it to the people free of cost.

 

            (3)       Chaudhri Roshan Singh Charitable Trust, Bathinda.—It was founded by Chaudhry Partap Singh in 1982. It was four members. It runs a charitable maternity hospital at Bathinda.

 

            Muslims Wakfs.—Besides, there are 569 Muslim Wakf at different places in the district with properties attached to some of them. These properties were maintained by the Rehabilitation Department, Government of India up to 1961, when their administration was entrusted to the Punjab Wakf Board, with headquarters at Ambala Cantonment. The administration of wakfs is regulated by the Central Government’s Wakfs Act, 1954.

 

            The annual income from the wakf properties in the district is spent for the upkeeping of these institutions as well as for various charitable purposes and promotion of education.

 

            The staff of the Punjab Wakf Board posted in the district consists of 4 Aukaf Officers at Bathinda and 2 Rent Collectors, one each at Bathinda and Mansa.

 

APPENDIX I

 

LIST OF TRADE UNIONS IN THE BATHINDA DISTRICT

 

 

Sr.No.

Name of the Union

Year/Date of

1

Kalan Wals Iron and Steel Merchant’s Association Raman Mandi

1964

2

Bathinda Central Co-operative Bank Employees Union, Bathinda

1966

3

Municipal Sweeper Union, Bathinda

13 January 1966

4

Bhupindra Floor Mill, Labour Union, Bathinda

27 August 1967

5

Punjab Sate Market Committee and Board Employees’ Union, Bathinda

5 October 1967

6

Wholesale Cloth Employees’ Union, Bathinda

9 July 1968

7

Punjab Market Committee Secretaries’ Union, Bathinda

19 November 1968

8

Cinema Workers’ Union, Bathinda

12 March 1970

9

Batha Mazdoor Union Bathinda

20 November 1971

10

Bathinda Eastern Central Co-operative Bank Employees’ Union, Bathinda

16 March 1972

11

Thermal Work Charge Staff Union, Bathinda

19 September 1972

12

Imarti Laour Union, Rampura Phul, Bathinda

7 October 1972

13

Punjab Bijli Karmchari Sectional Officers Association, Bathinda

1973

14

District Advocates’ Clerk Union, Bathinda

8 September 1974

15

Imarti Labour Union, Bathinda

27 January 1975

16

Punjab State Warehousing Corporation Field Employees’ Union, Bathinda

10 November 1976

17

F.I.L. Employees’ Association, Bathinda

31 May 1977

18

Retail Cloth Employees’ Union, Bathinda

9 September 1977

19

Rickshaw Workers’ Union, Bathinda

23 September 1977

20

Garwali Mazdoor Union, Bathinda

1978

21

Bathinda Ammunition Depot, Janta Karmchari Sangh, Bathinda

21 February 1978

22

Punsup Employees’ Union, Punjab Bathinda

27 April 1978

23

Chungi Karmchari Union, Nagar Palika, Bathinda

24 July 1978

24

National Fertilizer Officers’ Association, Bathinda

19 January 1979

25

National Fertilizer Employees’ Union, Bathinda

31 May 1979

26

Thermal Technical Employees’ Union, Bathinda

4 May 1979

27

Bhagwanti Oil Mill Worker’s Union, Bhucho Mandi

21 August 1979

28

Thermal Employees’ Federation, Bathinda

25 September 1979

29

Class IV Employees’ Union, PSEB Thermal Unit, Bathinda

25 September 1979

30

Bhagwati Oil Mill Mazdoor Sangh, Bhucho Mandi.

15 October 1979

31

Northern India Cotton Brokers’ Association (Punjab Haryana and Sri Ganganagar), Bathinda

27 March 1980

32

PRTC Drivers’ Union, Bathinda

9 July 1980

33

Safai Sewak Union, Guru Nanak Thermal Plant, Bathinda

31 December 1980

34

Western Command, M.E.S. Civillian Drivers’ Association, Bathinda

31March 1981

35

Cotton Mill Workers’ Union, Bathinda

26 February 1981

36

Hathreri Union, Bathinda

--

37

State Bank of Patiala Employees’ National Union, Mansa

--

38

Warehouse Corporation Workers’ Union, Bathinda

--

39

Lal Jhanda NFL Mazdoor Union, Bathinda

25 July 1984

40

Loading and Unloading Workers’ Union, Bathinda

3 August 1984

41

Punjab Ceremic Workers’ Union, Bathinda

1985

42

Auto Workers’ Union, Bathinda

1985

43

Moonak Chemical Employees’ Union, Bathinda

26 July 1985

44

Employees’ Union Jindal  & Company, Bathinda

26 December 1985

45

Tonga Rehra Mazdoor Union, Bhagta Bhai Ka, Bathinda

28 April 1986

46

Gadda Labour Union, Bareta Mandi

15 May 1986

47

Ussari Mazdoor Union, Gol Chakkar, Budhalada

28 May 1986

48

Punjab Spinning Karamchari Dal, Bathinda

8 August 1986

49

Punjab Ceramic Karamchari Dal, Bathinda

6 September 186

50

Sarv Punjab Palledar Union, Bathinda

12 September 1986

51

Bathinda Operators Workers’ Union, Bathinda

3 October 1986

52

Hindustan Bhawan Ussari Labour Union, Bathinda

25 November 1986

53

Rubicon Steel Worker’s Union, Bucho Mandi

29 December 1986

54

Naveen Punjab Palledar Union, Bathinda

11 January 1987

55

Budhlada Ghada Rehri Mazdoor Union, Bathinda

18 February 1987

56

Rampura Phul Truck Operators’ Union, Bathinda

3 March 1987

57

Rama Truck Operators Workers’ Union, Bathinda

17 March 1987

58

Chemical and Oil Karamchari Sangh, Bathinda

7 July 1987

59

Sabzi Mandi Fari Mazdoor Union, Bathinda

12 October 1987

60

Stelco Workers’ Union, Rampura Phul

21 April 1988

61

Ginning Factories Workers’ Union, Rampura Phul

9 May 1988

62

Multi Melt Steel Workers’ Union, Rampura Phul

10 June 1988

63

Dukan Karamchari Sangh, Rampura Phul

27 June 1938

64

Raj Mazdoor Union, Rampura Phul

7 November 1988

65

Arra Mills Mazdoor Union, Bathinda

12 December 1988

66

Rickshaw Chalak Mazdoor Union, Bathinda

11 November 1988

67

Sewerage Workers’ Union, Bathinda

1989

68

Ussari Mazdoor Union, Mansa

7 February 1989

69

Forest Department Field Workers’ Union, Bathinda

8 February 1989

                                                                                                                                                                                                         i.            (Source : Labour Commissioner, Punjab, Chandigarh)

 

APPENDIX II

Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes and Vimukt Jtis
Inhabiting the Bathinda District

Sr. No.

Name of Caste

Main Professionals

 

 

Scheduled Castes

1

Ad-dharmi

Shoe-making, labour, weaving, animal husbandry, etc.

2

Ramdasi

Shoe-making, service, animal husbandry, agriculture and labour etc.

3

Mazhabi

Agriculture, agricultural labour, animal husbandry, shop-keeping and labour, etc.

4

Balmiki

Scavenging, service and labour, etc.

5

Dhanak

Labour in factories.

6

Rehgar-Raigar

Shoe-making, leather tanning, labour, animal husbandry, etc.

7

Sirkiband

Making sirkis, labour and rope-making, etc.

8

Bazigar

Labour and animal husbandry, etc.

 

 

Backward Classes

1

Chhimba

Tailoring

2

Lohar

Blacksmithy, making of agricultural implements, etc.

3

Khaty

House Building and wood-works

4

Rai Sikh

Agriculture

5

Goldsmith

Making of golden ornaments and shop-keeping

6

Dacot

Labour and begging

7

Thori

Begging

8

Nayak

Growing and selling vegetables

9

Lubanas

Agriculture and labour

10

Nai

Hair cutting, shaving, labour and agriculture

11

Dhobi

Washing and ironing of clothes

12

Kumhar

Pottery and labour

 

 

Vimukt Jatis

1

Sansi

Labour

2

Deha

Cleaning of ears, making of winnowing baskets

3

Borea

Agriculture and labour

4

Sapela

Snake-charming of begging

5

Singikat

Shoe-polishing and Singian

            (Source : District Welfare Officer, Bathinda)

 

 

CHAPTER XVIII

PUBLIC LIFE AND VOLUNTARY SOCIAL SERIVCE ORGANIZATIONS

 

(a)

Representation of the District in the State and the Union Legislatures

(b)

Political Parties and Organizations

(c)

Newspapers and Periodicals

(d)

Voluntary Social Service Organizations

 

(a)               Representation of the District in the State and the Union Legislature

 

Historical Retrospect.—Bathinda, formerly a tahsil of the princely State of Patiala, was constituted as a district with the formation of Paiala and the East Punjab States Union (PEPSU) in 1948. The territory of the present Bathinda District comprises parts of the erstwhile princely states of Patiala, Nabha, Faridkot, Jind and some portions of the British territory, then forming part of Firozpur District. Prior to the formation of PEPSU, the princes never countenanced political awakening among their subjects and put down any agitation in the political field with iron hand. The British rulers gave them all support in doing so. But still the patriots in these feudal pockets did raise their heads and contributed their mite in the national struggle for Independence. Many movements were launched under different names, such as Jaitu Morcha, Namdhari Agitation, etc. and scores of patriots laid down their lives in the process of bringing and encouraging political awakening. For this purpose, they organized Praja Mandals whose ideology was the same as that of the Indian National Congress in these princely states.

 

            Under the Government of India Act, 1919, the franchise of the Council of State was very limited, based on a high property qualification. Persons having either an annual income of not less than Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 or paying land revenue of Rs 750 to Rs 5000 were entitled to vote for the Council of State. The franchise was also bestowed for special personal qualifications such as past or present membership of a university senate or legislature. The franchise of Legislative Assembly was also based on property qualification and varied from province to province. The payment of municipal taxes which amounted to not less than Rs 15 to Rs 20 per annum or occupation or ownership of a house, which could yield an annual rent of Rs 180 or assessment to income tax on an annual income of not less than Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 or the assessment of land revenue for Rs 150 per annum varying from province to province, could entitle a person to be a voter for the Assembly. The Government of India Act, 1919 did sow the seeds of communal representation in the country by  earmarking constituencies for the Muslims, Sikhs, etc.

 

            Under the Government of India Act, 1935, the right to was much more extended. The women and the depressed classes were also made eligible to become voters. In this way, around 15 per cent of the total population of the provinces was enfranchised. The Act not only retained the separate electorates for the Muslims, but also extended them to the Sikhs, Indian Christians, Anglo-Indians and Europeans. The first general elections of India under the Act were held in January and the second and last in March 1946.

 

            After the general elections in March 1946, a Constituent Assembly was elected by the members of the Provincial Legislative Assemblies and the same was entrusted with the task of framing of a constitution for the country. The Draft Constitution of India was completed by February 1948. It was approved in November 1949, and enforced with effect from 26 January 1950. The new Constitution made a clean sweep of the postulate of communal electorates and submitted in its place common electorate for all the citizens of India. Under Article 326 of the Constitution, elections to the House of People (Lok Sabha) and to the Legislative Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) of every State shall be on the basis of adult franchise. Every Indian who is not less than 21 years* of age, is entitled to vote if he is not otherwise disqualified.

 

            The Punjab Vidhan Sabha has 117 seats. An Indian citizen not less than 25 years of age and possessing such other qualifications as prescribed in the Representation of the People’s Act, 1951, is eligible to be chosen as a member of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha.

 

            On the attainment of Independence, the Praja Mandals of the princely states merged with the Indian National Congress and became its local units. Other political parties have also entered the district and like the Indian National Congress Party established their branches in the district and fought elections enthusiastically, both for the State Assembly and the Parliament.            

*Age has not been lowered down to 18 years.

 

            Till 1985*, 8 general elections have been successfully conducted in the Bathinda District along with that of the country. A brief account of all these elections is given hereunder :

 

            First General Elections, 1951-52.—As in the rest of India, the district of Bathinda of the erstwhile PEPSU went to the polls for the first time when the first general elections were held in 1951-52. Franchise was thrown open to every adult not suffering from any disqualification, otherwise.

 

 

Parliamentary Constituency1

 

            There was 1 (double-member) constituency in the Bathinda District, viz. Kapurthala-Bathinda. It was created to elect one member from amongst the general and the other from reserved category of candidates. The area of Kapurthala District was also clubbed with it. Both the seats of this constituency were captured by the Akali candidates. The total number of valid votes polled by each of the contesting party was as under :

 

Name of the party

Total number of valid
votes polled

Percentage

Akali Dal

3,96,690

45.94

Congress

2,74,815

31.75

Socialist

38,222

4.47

Jan Sangh

37,345

4.37

Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party

33,613

3.85

Forward Block

31,081

3.65

Independents

51,507

5.97

                                              ii.            Total

8,63,273

100.00

 

*The ninth general elections for the Lok Sabha have been held in November 1989.

1Report on the First General Elections in India, 1951-52, pp 108-109.

 

 Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU)

Vidhan Sabha Constituencies2

 

            There were 9 Vidhan Sabha Constituencies consisting of 11 seats in the district, viz. Faridkot, Kot Kanpura-Jaitu (double-member), Bathinda Sadr, Nahianwala, Raman, Maur, Mansa (double-member), Sardulgarh and Budhlada-Bareta. From these constituencies, 6 Akali, 3 Contress and 2 Independent candidates were declared elected. The total number of valid votes by each contesting party was as under :

 

Name of the party

Total number of valid
votes polled

Percentage

Akali Dal

84,892

31.42

Congress

62,541

23.15

Communist

24,115

8.92

Forward Block (Marxist)

4,975

1.84

Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party

3,939

1.46

Socialist

3,191

1.18

Jan Sangh

3,025

1.12

S.C. Federation

1,494

0.55

Independents

82,042

30.36

Total

2,70,214

100.00

2Report on the First General Elections in India, 1951-52, pp 636-639.

           

            Mid-term Elections to the PEPSU Legislative Assembly, 1954.—The first general elections to the Legislative Assembly of the Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU) were held in 1951-52, as in the rest of India. Normally, the Assembly should have had a term of five years in accordance with the provisions of Article 172 (1) of the Constitution. It was, however, dissolved by the President under Article 356 of the Constitution prematurely by issuing a proclamation on 4 March 1953. The President assumed to himself all functions of the government and all powers vested in or exercisable by the Rajpramukh of the State. Para (c) (iv) of the Proclamation announced that the general elections for constituting a new Legislative Assembly for the State would be held as soon as possible after the Delimitation Commission had finally delimited the constituencies for elections to the Legislative Assembly of the State. The Delimitation Commission took up the work of delimitation of constituencies in the State with all possible expedition. The number of seats to which PEPSU was entitled in the House of People on the basis of the population figure of the 1951 Census remained the same, namely 5 seats. The number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of the State also remained at the existing figure of 60 (36 single member and 12 two-member) constituencies which was the minimum. The two-member constituencies were formed to provide representation to the Scheduled Castes. The legal framework for these elections was more or less the same as for the first general elections held in 1951-52. The period fixed for holding poll in the State was for 1 February to 28 February 1954.

 

            Out of the total population of the Bathinda District numbering 7,86,889 (1951 Census), the number of electors was 5,73,128.

 

 

PEPSU Legislative Assembly Constituencies1

 

            There were 9 constituencies consisting of 11 seats in the Bathinda District (two constituencies being double-member), viz. Faridkot, Kot Kanpura, Jaitu, Nahianwala-Raman (double-member), Bathinda, Maur, Mansa, Sardulgarh and Budhilada (double-member). From these constituencies, 5 Congress, 3 Akali (Master Tara Singh Group), 2 Communist and 1 Independent candidates were declared elected. The total number of valid votes polled by each of the contesting parties was as under :

 

1Report on the Second General Elections to the PEPSU and Travancore-Cochin Legislative Assemblies (New Delhi, 1955), pp 3,5,7, 44-47.

 

Name of the party

Total number of valid
votes polled

Percentage

Indian National Congress

1,09,772

33.98

Akali Dal (Master Group)

93,475

28.92

Akali Dal (Raman Group)

60,439

18.70

Communist Party of India

25,518

7.90

Jan Sangh

492

0.15

Independents

33,446

10.35

                                    Total

3,23,142

100.00

 

            Second General Elections, 1957.—By virtue of the States Re-organization Act, 1956, the arstwhile State of Punjab and PEPSU were merged together and the new State of Punjab came into existence on 1 NovemBer 1956. The Legislative Assembly functioing in Punjab immediately before the merger was elected on the basis of the constituencies delimited in 1951 and that functioning in PEPSU, on the basis of 1953 constituencies, and general elections to the former Assembly were held in 1952 and to the later in 1954. These Legislative Assemblies had 126 and 60 seats in erstwhile Punjab and  PEPSU, respectively. On the amalgamation or the Vidhan Sabhas of the erstwhile States, all the erstwhile members of the sitting sabhas became the members of the Vidhan Sabha of the new State. As against that number (186), the seats allocated to the Legislative Assembly of the new State were 154. Consequent upon the change in the number of seats, fresh delimitation became necessary. A Delimitation Commission was accordingly constituted by the Government of India.

 

            Notifications by the President and the Governor of Punjab, under Sections 14 and 15, respectively of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, calling upon the constituencies of the Lok Sabha and the Punjab Vidhan Sabha to elect members were issued on 19 January 1957. In terms of Section 30 of the said Act, the Election Commission notified the dates from 24 February 1957 to 14 March 1957 for the conduct of the elections. The Election Commission desired that the policy to be followed in regard to the programme of polling should be different from that in 1951-52. In those election, polling extended over 27 days and most of the constituencies went to poll on a number of days, covering each constituency in piece-meal. This time the Commission considered that the total period of polling, inclusive of the time required for the movement of the polling parties from one constituency to another and from one part of the constituency to another, should not exceed 16 days from 25 February 1957 to 12 March 1957. Moreover, one constituency went preferably to complete the poll in one day instead of polling being spread over to two or more days. The counting of polled votes in the constituency was started from the next day of polling.

 

Out of the total population of 7,86,889 (1951 Census) out the Bathinda District, the number of electors was 4,55,037. According to the Delimitation of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies Order, 1956, Lok Sabha constituency consisting of 2 seats (one reserved for the members of the Scheduled Castes) and 6 Punjab Vidhan Sabha constituencies consisting of 8 seats (2 reserved for the members of the Scheduled Castes) were allocated to the district.

 

Lok Sabha Constituency1

 

            There was one Lok Sabha Constituency in the district and it consisted of 2 seats (one reserved for the members of Scheduled Castes). The extent of the constituency was beyond the revenue jurisdiction of the district and some area of Sangrur and Firozpur  districts was also included in it. The Delimitation Commission endeavoured that as far as possible, the Assembly Constituencies should fall wholly in one or the other of the two States. But due to the peculiar geographical formation of PEPSU State, this principle could not be followed, and to make a compact constituency, some area of Punjab territory was also included in it. From this constituency, 2 candidates were declared elected. Both the seats were captured by the Congress Party. The total number of valid votes polled in favour of each contesting party is given below :

 

1Report on General Elections in Punjab, 1957 (Chandigarh, 1959), p. 95).

 

Name of the party

Total number of valid
votes polled

Percentage

Congress

4,76,434

51.93

Communist

3,30,806

36.07

Jan Sangh

1,10,157

12.00

                                    Total

9,17,397

100.00

 

 

Punjab Vidhan Sabha1

 

            There were 6 constituencies consisting of 8 seats (including 2 couble-member constituencies) for the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in the district, viz. Phul, Faridkot, Jaitu, Bathinda, pakka Kalan (one reserved for the members of the Scheduled Castes) and Mansa (also one reserved for the members of the Scheduled Castes). From these constituencies, 7 Congress and 1 Independent candidates were elected. The total number of valid votes polled by each contesting party is as under :

 

Name of the party

Total number of valid
votes polled

Percentage

Indian National Congress

2,10, 067

54.40

Communist Party of India

1,11,856

28.96

Praja Socialist Party

1,479

0.38

Independents

62,815

18.26

                                    Total

3,86,217

100.00

 

1Report on General Elections in Punjab, 1957 (Chandigarh, 1959, pp 127-128

 

            Third General Elections, 1962.—A major improvement in the matter of elections in the State this time was with regard to the period of poll. While it took nearly 19 days to complete the poll during the second general elections, the poll this time was held and completed on a single day, i.e. on 24 February 1962, throughout the State except in Kulu and Seraj (now in Himachal Pradesh) constituencies where on account of the areas being snow-bound and inaccessible, the poll was deferred and held later towards the end of April. Punjab was the only State which had the distinction of having a single day poll both for the parliamentary and Assembly elections.

 

            The second general elections were held on the balloting system of voting in completely closed compartments, one for the Parliamentary election and another for Assembly election, and an array of ballot boxes in each of them equal to the number of contesting candidates. This old balloting system was retained only in the remote and inaccessible Kulu and Seraj (now in Himachal Pradesh) constituencies. In all other constituencies in the State, the ‘Marking System of Voting’ was adopted.

 

            The Parliament passed the Two-member Constituencies (Abolition) Act I of 1961 and abolished tow member constituencies for the Legislative Assemblies as well as the House of People. The Election Commission was empowered to divide double-member constituencies into single-member constituencies, delimit the extent, besides reserving seats for the members of he Scheduled Castes.

 

            As a result of the bifurcation of the two-member constituencies, 22 Parliamentary constituencies and 154 Assembly constituencies were formed as against 17 Parliamentary (12 single-member and 5 two-member) and 121 Assembly (88 single-member and 33 two-member) constituencies. The delimitation of the constituencies, effected under the above Act resulted in the carving out of one Parliamentary and 8 Assembly constituencies, including 2 reserved for the members of Scheduled Castes in the Bathinda District. The stupendous task of holding simultaneous general elections, 1962, was completed throughout the State successfully and strictly according to schedule. The counting of votes with respect to 152 constituencies was started on 25 February and completed on 28 February 1962.

 

            Out of a total population of 10,55,177 (1961 Census) of he district, the number of electors was 5,57,187.

 

Loc Sabha Constituencies1

 

            There was only one Lok Sabha Constituency in the district, viz. Bathinda, which was reserved for the members of the Scheduled Castes. From this constituency, Akali candidate was declared elected. The number of valid votes polled in favour of each contesting party is as under :

 

Name of the party

Total number of valid
votes polled

Percentage

Akali Dal

1,64,155

52.78

Congress

1,96,134

34.12

Jan Sangh

40,755

13.10

                                    Total

3,11,044

100.00

 

Punjab Vidhan Sabha Constituencies2

 

            There were 8 constituencies (including 2 reserved constituencies) for the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in the district. The constituencies were Pakka Kalan (SC), Talwandi Sabo, Mansa, Budhlads (SC), Phul, Bathinda, Jaitu and Faridkot. From these constituencies, 3 Akali, 3 Congress and 2 Communist candidates were declared elected. The number of valid votes polled in favour of each contesting party was as under :

 

Name of the party

Total number of valid
votes polled

Percentage

Congress

1,40,929

39.12

Akali Dal

96,141

26.70

Communist

71,469

19.84

Swatantra

22,485

6.24

Jan Sangh

19,073

5.30

Independents

10,116

2.80

                                    Total

3,60,213

100.00

 

1Report on General Elections in Punjab, 1962 (Chandigarh, 1963), p. 60

2 Ibid, pp 74-75

 

            Fourth General Elections, 1967.—The general elections held in 1967 were fourth in the country and first in the new Sate of Punjab which came into being after reorganization of Punjab on 1 November 1966. The delimitation of constituencies was done by the Delimitation Commission of India immediately after the formation of the present State of Punjab. For the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, 104 seats were provided under the Punjab Reorganization Act, 1966 and equal number of constituencies were delimited. According to the Delimitation of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies Order, 1966, Bathinda was the only Lok Sabha Constituency in the district. The names of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha constituencies were Sardulgarh, Budhlada, Mansa, Talwandi Sabo, pakka Kalan, Bathinda, Phul, Nathana (SC), Kot Kanpura and Faridkot (SC).

 

            The poll throughout the State was held on a single day on 19 February 1967. The counting was started on 21 February and completed on 24 February.

 

            Out of a total population of 10,55,177 of the district, the number of electors was 6,09,527.

 

Lok Sabha Constituency1

 

            There was only one Lok Sabha Constituency in the district, viz. Bathinda. From this constituency, Akali Dal (Sant) candidate was declared elected. The number of valid votes polled in favour of each contesting party was as under :

 

1 Report on General Elections in Punjab, 1967 (Chandigarh, 1963), p. 60

 

 

 

Name of the party

Total number of valid
votes polled

Percentage

Akali Dal (Sant)

1,50,415

47.07

Indian National Congress

88,783

27.79

Jan Sangh

23,179

7.25

Akali Dal (Master)

22,576

7.07

Independents

34,598

10.82

                                    Total

3,19,550

100.00

 

1 Ibid, p. 63

 

Punjab Vidhan Sabha Constituencies1

 

            There were 10 Punjab Vidhan Sabha Constituencies (including 2 reserved for the members of the Scheduled Castes) in the district, viz. Sardulgarh, Budhlada, Mansa, Talwandi Sabo, Pakka Kalan, Bathinda, Phul, Nathana (Scheduled Castes), Kot Kapura and Faridkot (Scheduled Castes). From these constituencies, 6 Akali Dal, 2 Congress, 1 Communist Party and 1 Independent candidates were declared elected. The total number of valid votes polled in favour of each of the contesting parties in the district was as follows :-

 

Name of the party

Total number of valid
votes polled

Percentage

Congress

1,45,824

36.57

Akali Dal (Sant)

1,41,501

35.48

Communist Party of India

32,391

8.12

Jan Sangh

13,666

3.43

Akali Dal (Master)

9,598

2.41

Swatantra

473

0.12

Independents including unrecognized parties

55,310

13.87

                                    Total

3,98,763

100.00

 

1 Ibid, p. 63

 

            Mid-Term Poll 19691.—In the normal course, the tenure of the constituted Punjab Vidhan Sabha would have been for five years, i.e. upto 19 March 1972, as provided in Article 172 of the Constitution of India. The party position after the Fourth General Elections, 1967, was such that no single political party had absolute majority in the Vidhan Sabha of 104 members. The political parties, viz. the Akali Dal (Sant Group), the Jan Sangh, the Republican Party of India and the Right Communists joined together to form People’s United Front, which formed its Ministr on 8 March 1967. After some time, the game of defections started and the then Education Minister, defected alongwith a few other MLAs of the Akali Dal, and formed his ministry on 25 November 1967, with the support of some Independents and the Congress Legislative Party. The relationship between the Ministry and the Congress Party — its main supporter did not, however, continue to be smooth for long and ultimately, the Congress Party withdrew its support from the Ministry. This led to the tendering of resignation by the Chief Minister. As a result, a situation was created in which no single party or workable alliance of parties could provide a stable government. In these circumstances, under the recommendation of the Governor, Punjab, the President of India issued a proclamation on 23 August 1968, under Article 356 of the Constitution of India placing the State of Punjab under the President’s rule. Thus, the Punjab Vidhan Sabha constituted in 1967 stood dissolved necessitating a mid-term general elections so as to constitute a new Vidhan Sabha.

 

            The poll throughout the State was held on a single day (9 Febryary 1969). The counting was started on 10 February and completed on 11 February. Out of the total popultion of 10,55,177 (1961 Census) of the district, the number of electors was 6,34,709.

 

1 Report on the Mid-term General Elections to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, 1969 (Chandigarh, 1971), pp. 1, 46, 52-53

 

            During the mid-term elections also, there were 10 Vidhan Sabha Constituencies in the district, viz. Sardulgarh, Budhlada, Mansa, Talwandi Sabo, Pakka Kalan, Bathinda, Phul, Nathana (SC), Kot Kapura, and Faridkot (SC). From these constituencies, 4 Congress, 5 Akali and 1 Communist candidates were elected. The total number of valid votes polled by each contesting party was as under :

 

Name of the party

Total number of valid
votes polled

Percentage

Congress

1,92,189

42.66

Akali Dal

1,79,868

39.92

Communist Party of India

43,016

9.55

Independents

35,461

7.87

                                    Total

4,50,534

100.00

 

            Fifth General Elections to the Lok 19711—The fifth general elections to the House of the People in India were held in March 1971. There was only one Lok Sabha Constituency in the district, viz. Bathinda, from where candidate belonging to Communist Party of India was declared elected. The total population of the district was 10,55,177 (Census 1961), and the number of electors was 5,31,021. Out of these, 2,75,026 electors cast their votes. The total number of valid votes polled in favour of each contesting party in the district was as under :

 

Name of the party

Total number of valid
votes polled

Percentage

Communist Party of India

1,38,092

51.46

Shiromani Akali Dal

1,19,769

44.63

Independents

10,501

3.91

                                    Total

2,68,362

100.00

 

1 Report on the Fifth General Elections to the House of People in India (Delhi, 1973, pp 366, 469

 

 

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