1.      Social Welfare Schemes

The State Welfare Department has undertaken the following schemes :

 

(i)  Subsidy for the Construction of New Houses for Scheduled  Castes and Vimukt Jatis :-  The economic condition of the members of Scheduled Castes  and Mimukt jatis is very poor. They live in congested areas and mostly in chhappars (thatched huts). Therefore to help the poor and homeless members of these  classes, subsidies are granted for the construction of new houses. The houses subsidized under the scheme are build in the form of colonies. A subsidy of Rs.  900 was granted to each deserving person. But the amount of the subsidy of Rs. 900 was granted to each deserving person. But the amount of the subsidy has been increased to Rs. 2,000 with effect from 1975-76. Unskilled labour or sites or both for the construction of houses are provided by the beneficiaries themselves. Each house consists  of a room, a verandah, a kitchen and a courtyard, all covering 5 or 6 marlas.

The beneficiaries under the scheme are bound  not to alienate the properties, so acquired by them. The proprietary rights of the house are fully vested in the Punjab Government for 20 years, after which the house becomes the property of the beneficiary . However, the latter enjoys free use of the house during this period.

The total amount of subsidies granted and the number of beneficiaries under the schemes in the District during 1973-74 to 1979-80 are given below :

 

        Year                            Amount                       Number of

                                            Disbursed                   Benficiaries   

                                            (Rs)

1973-74                              7,200                               1

1974-75                                --                                  ---

1975-76                              1,50,000                         75

1976-77                              1,92,000                         96

1977-78                              3,04,000                      152

1978-79                              3,00,000                      150

1979-80                              3,00,000                      150

                    (Source : District Welfare Officer, Firozpur)                                                     

 

Subsidy for the Purchase of Agricultural Land :- The members of the Scheduled Castes and Vimukt Jatis generally depend on agriculture. But most of them have no land of their own, and earn their livelihood by taking land on lease or on batai (crop-sharing).  to help the  needy, poor and deserving landless Harijans, each was given Rs. 2,000 as subsidy for purchasing agricultural land, measuring not less then 5 acres and costing up to Rs. 4,500. the balance of the price of land, i.e. Rs. 25,00, was  contributed by the beneficiary from his own resources or by raising a loan for the Land Mortgage Bank. Since 1971-72, the amount of subsidy has been increased to Rs.  5,000 for the purchase of 3 acres, costing  not less than Rs. 7,500.  In addition, Rs. 1,000 is given to each beneficiary for the construction of a house on the land purchased by him. The beneficiaries are also given subsidy for meeting stamp duty charges at the rat eof Rs. 160 each. The amount of the subsidies granted and the number of beneficiaries, i.e. persons settled on land under the scheme in the District, during 1973-74 to 1979-80, are given below :

        Year                            Amount                       Number of

                                            Disbursed                   Beneficiaries 

                                            (Rs)

1973-74                                                            12,360                              2

      1974-75                             61,800                             10               

1975-76                              80,340                             13               

1976-77                              80,340                             13

1977-78                           1,23,600                             20

1978-79                           1,05,060                             17

 

                        (Source : District Welfare Officer, Firozpur)     

                       

Subsidy for Drinking-Water :- With a vie to providing pour drinking-water for the Scheduled Castes in the areas where there is scarcity of it, subsidy  is given for constructing diggies, sinking wells, repairing  old wells and installing hand-pumps. The amount disbursed, along with the number  of villages benefited under this scheme during 1973-74 to 1979-80, is given in the following table :

 

        Year                            Amount                       Number of

                                            Disbursed                   Villages          

-                                          (Rs)

      1973-74                             37,800                         113                             

1974-75                              40,850                         100                 

1975-76                              61,200                         118

1976-77                              45,575                           97

1977-78                             76,900                          253

1978-79                             51,850                          126

1979-80                              50,000                         116

                         

Dharmshala Scheme :- This scheme was introduced during 1969-70. Under it, Rs. 5,000 was given for the construction of new dharmshala in a Harijan basti. This amount of grant was raised of Rs.  5,500 in 1970-71 to Rs. 7,000  during 1974-75 and still further to Rs. 10,000 in 1978-79.

The amount disbursed under scheme and the number of villages  benefited in the District during 1973-74 to 1979-80 is given in the following

Year                                    Amount                       Number of

                                            Disbursed                   Villages          

-                                               (Rs)                             Benefited

,      1973-74                            7,01,000                      130

1974-75                              6,50,000                        95

1975-76                              6,63,000                        97

1976-77                             8,74,000                      126

1977-78                             3,15,000                        45

1978-79                             4,12,000                         44

1979-80                             4,58,000                         55

         

 

Basti Sudhar Scheme :- The majority of Scheduled  Castes live in the  rural areas and the environmental conditions of their basties lack the basic sanitary facilities. This scheme aims at making pucca streets and drains in the basties. These works are executed through the Public Health Department as  deposit works. The rough cost estimates of the pucca streets and drains are prepared by that Department and the amount is sanctioned and sent to the concerned executive engineer by the Department of Welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, Punjab.

 

So, far, 1,083 villages have been covered under this scheme in the State. The amount spent, along with  the number of villages covered under the scheme during 1973-74 to 1979-80, in the Firozpur District, is given in the following table :

Year                                    Amount                       Number of

                                            Disbursed                   Villages          

-                                          (Rs)

1973-74                                                            5,80,356                      22                                           

1974-75                              6,41,618                      18                   

1975-76                              4,20,416                        5       

1976-77                              7,17,758                      12

1977-78                                 ---                             --

1978-79                             4,83,537                         7

1979-80                             2,76,000                         2

               

Free  :- Distribution-of-books Scheme :- This scheme was started during 1976-77. Under this scheme, the student belonging to the Scheduled Castes studying in the 6th, 7th and 8th classes are given books free of cost.

The number of books, along with their values and the number of student benefited under this scheme, are detailed below :

Year                  Number of                  Total               Number of

                                    Books                         Price                Beneficiaries

                                Supplied                      (Rs.)               

1976-77           8,974                           14,180             1,233

1977-78            12,670                         23,870             1,252

1978-79           13,400                         29,394             2,000

1979-80           19,165                         41,242             2,384

1980-81           25,566                         55,336             3,147

                                   

Community Welfare Centre :- To look after the children of working mothers of Balmiki sweepers, scavengers, etc. when  they are at work, Government crèches or centres  are functioning. These centres are running in those towns where the population of the above categories of women is large. At these centres, children in the age-group of 0 to 6 years are enrolled. Each child is given a diet worth Rs. 1.25 daily. there is one lady supervisor and tow nurse-cum-lady attendents at each centre to look after these children.

Under the scheme, 7 Community Welfare Centres are functioning in the District at Fatehgarh Korotana, Bara Pohwindian and Makhu (Zira Tehsil), Ladhoke (Fzailka Tehsil), Firozpur Cantonment and Mothanwala (Firozpur Tehsil) and Khanpur.

Legal Assistance :- To protect the members of Scheduled Castes, Vimukt Jatis and other Backward Classes against the tyrannies of the landlords and other exploiting classes, they are provided with legal assistance by the Government to fight out their cases pertaining to ejectment from land or other properties, recovery of rent due to landlords, cases pertaining to khasra girdawari, the observance of untouchability, etc. The Deputy Commissioner arranges part-time counsel to take up all such cases on payment of suitable remuneration.

The scheme was introduce into the State in 1958-59. The amount provided in the form of legal assistance and the number of beneficiaries in the District during 1973-74 to 1979-80 are given below :

            Year                            Amount                       Number of

                                                Disbursed                   Beneficiaries

                                                (Rs)    

            1973-74                       500                              5         

            1974-75                       --                                 --

            1975-76                       911                              3

            1976-77                       --                                 --

            1977-78                       675                              1

            1978-79                       --                                 --

            179-80                         1,120                           3

                        (Source : District Welfare Officer, Firozpur)

 

(viii)  Zonal Coaching-Centre, Patiala :- With a vie to imparting pre-examination coaching to the students belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for the IAS, IPS and allied services, a training-centre, known as the Zonal coaching-Centre, has  been set up at Patiala at the Punjab University Campus. The candidates are provided with free board and lodging and medical facilities during the period of training.

I.                   Industrial Training Schemes

In addition to the above-mentioned schemes, the Industrial Training Department, Punjab, has sponsored several other schemes for imparting training to the members of the Schedules Castes and Backward Classes in various engineering and non-engineering trades. Of these schemes, the following may be mentioned :

(i)  Industrial Training Centres :- The Department runs a number of Industrial Training Centres, exclusively meant for the trainees belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Vimukt Jatis and Backward Classes, aged between 14 to 25 years. Each trainee, belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Backward Class, is granted a stipend of Rs. 25 per month, while that belonging to the Vimukt Jatis is granted a stipend of Rs. 45 per month for the one-year course.

(ii)  Industrial Training in miles, Factories and Institutions :-  Under this scheme, stipends are awarded to the students belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Vimukt Jatis and other Backward Classes, who get vocational or  technical training in the various Industrial training institutes, centres, schools, etc. run by the State Industrial Training Department as well as by the various mills and factories in the private sector. The training in these institutions lasts for only one year. A stipend of Rs. 25 per month is granted to the candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes or Backward Classes and Rs. 45 to those belonging to the Vimukt Jatis.

(iii) Industrial Training Institutes :- Under this scheme, a number of industrial training institutes are functioning in the State.  In them training is imparted to the students in various engineering and non-engineering trades. Twenty per cent of the seats are reserved for the trainees belonging to the Scheduled Castes and two per cent for those belonging to the Backward Classes. A stipend of Rs. 40 per month is awarded to 60 cent  of the trainees belonging to those classes on  poverty-cum-merit basis. They are also provided with other facilities, such as free education, free medical aid, free clothing and free hostel accommodation, subject to the availability of seats.

 

(IV)           Industrial Schools for Boys and Girls :- Training is imparted in various vocational engineering trades in these schools to the students. Twenty per cent of the seats are reserved for the trainees belonging to the  Schedules Castes and two per cent for those belonging to the Backward Classes. Stipends are awarded to a limited number of trainees on poverty-cum-merit basis. The trainings is given free to all the trainees.

Representative Institutions.

Two representative institutions are functioning in the District under the guidance of Harijan leaders. These institutions are engaged mainly in the uplift of the Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes and aim at removing untouchability and other social evils.  These institutions have also their branches at various places in the District. The name of these institutions are as under :

        1.      District Backward Classes League, Abohar.

 

        2.      Balmik Sabha, Firozpur.

 

(d) Other Social Welfare Activities

 

Social services cover too wise a range of activities to be dealt with here. A few of them are detailed below :

Old-Age-Pension Scheme :- This scheme was introduced into the State in 1964 with a vie to providing social security through the grant of financial assistance for deserving destitute, old and disabled persons who have  neither any means of subsistence nor anybody to the case of women, they should be 60 or above. The rate of pension was increased in July 1968 from Rs. 15 to 25 per  month and further raised to Rs. 50 per month with effect form March 1973, keeping in view the rising prices of essential commodities.

There were as on 31 March 1980, as many as 5,010 beneficiaries under this scheme.

Financial Assistance to Widows and Destitute Women :- This scheme was introduced into the State in 1968 with a view to providing financial assistance for the needy and destitute women below the age of 60 years. This assistance under the scheme is given to those women who are left without any means of subsistence after the deaths of their husbands or to those whose husbands are physically or mentally incapable of earning a livelihood. Keeping in view the  increased cost of living, the rate of assistance was raised from Rs. 25 to 50 per month with effect from 1 March 1973.

 

There were on 31 March 1980, as many as 1,150 beneficiaries under this scheme.

Financial Assistance to Dependent Children :- This scheme came into force in March 1968. It aims at providing orphan and destitute children under 16 years with relief. Such children should either have lost their parents or whose parents are unable to maintain them owing to some incurable disease or permanent physical disability.

In the case of more than one deserving child in a family preference n the grant of financial assistance is given to school-going children. the rate of financial assistance, which was previously Rs. 20 per month, has been increased to Rs. 50 per month per child with effect from 1 March 1974.

On 31 March 1980, there were 227 beneficiaries under this scheme.

Public Trusts, Charitable Endowments and Muslim Wakfs

(e)  Public trusts and charitable endowments render useful service to society in various fields, such as social, religious and educational ones. Several educational institutions, medical institutions, Dharmshalas and other similar social-welfare institutions are run by these organizations. Their finances come either from contributions, or from revenue-free land attached to some of them.

The notable public trusts existing in the District are briefly mentioned below :

1. Har Bhagwan Memorial Trust, Firozpur :-  Founded By Rai Gopimal about the year 1887, the main object of the trust is the spreading of education among the masses. It also runs a free hospital for women.

2. Narain Dass Daroga Trust, Firozpur :- The trust was founded by Narian Dass Daroga about the year 1890 for running a dispensary, for providing patients with medicines and for imparting education in Hindi and for awarding scholarships to the students.

3. Lal Tulsi Ram Samadh and Hospital for Women, Village Gamewal, Tehsil and District Firozpur :- Founded on 10 August 1909 in the memory of Tulsi Ram, ¼  of income of the trust, managing these institutions, is utilized for the maintenance of the samadh and ¾ for the hospital.

4. The Jain Upasru Trust, Zira :- Founded in 1933, the Trust runs a dispensary for women at Zira.

5. Sawan mal Memorial Trust ;- Founded in 1958 in the memory of Shri Sawan Mal, the Trust runs an serai and a janj ghar (a place for marriage parties to stay).

6. Bara Thakurwara Trust, Dharmkot :- Founded in 1887 by the local people, the Trust maintains a temple.

7. Arjan Dass High School Trust, Dharamkot :- Founded in 1914 in the memory of Arjan Das, the trust runs a higher secondary school at Dharmkot.

8. Amar Nath Janjghar Trust, Dharmkot : Founded in 1960 in the memory of Amar Nath, the Trust runs a janj ghar.

9. Munshi Ram Charitable Trust, Fazilka :- Founded by Shri Munshi Ram on 20 February 1937 for imparting education, the Trust runs the M.R. College, Fazilka.

10. Sharda Trust, Abohar. Registered in 1969 for the benefit of poor and needy persons, the Trust runs a dharmshala, an Ayurvedic dispensary and a Sanskrit Maha Vidyalaya.

Besides, there are a number of Muslim wakfs at different places in the District, with properties attached to some of them. These properties were maintained by the Custodian Department, Government of India, up to 1961, when their administration was entrusted to the Punjab Wakf Board (with its headquarters at the Ambala Cantonment).  The administration of the wakfs is regulated by the Central Wakf Act, 1954.

The income from the properties of the wakfs is spent for upkeep of its institutions and for various charitable purposes and for promoting education, both religious and secular, of the Muslims. The income from the properties of the wakfs in the District during 1972-73 to 1979-80 is given below :

  Year                                                    Income

                                                                                (Rs)

1972-73                                                                                                60,128

1973-74                                                                                                66,163

1974-75                                                                                                64,979

1975-76                                                                                                87,614                        

1976-77                                                                                                89,938

1977-78                                                                                                1,16,314         

1978-79                                                                                                1,23,947

1979-80                                                                                                1,99,510

           

 

The important wakfs in the District are : the Islamia Schools, Baghdadi Gate, Firozpur City; the Mosque and Anjuman Islamia School at the Firozpur Cantonment; the Anjuman Islamia, Idgha and graveyard at Abohar.

The staff of the Wakf Board posted in the District consist of the Wakf Officer (at Firozpur) and three rent-collectors one each at Firozpur, Fazilka and Zira.

List  of Trade Unions in the Firozpur District

Serial              Name of Trade Union                                    Date of registration

No.

1. Municipal employee’s Union , Firozpur                                 31 May 1952

2. Satluj Flour-Mill worker’s, Firozpur City                               19 January, 1956

3. Cotton-Mill mazdoor Union, Abohar                         23 August 1959

4.  Station Master Group Association, Firozpur             15 April 1960

5.  Hussainniwala Border Labour Union, Firozpur                     23 March 1962

6.  Municipal Fire Brigade Employees, Union, Ferozpur            7 March 1963

7.  Municipal Mazdoor Sabha, Abohar                         17 January 1965

8.  Harijan Workers Union Cantonment Board, FZR City          10 August 1967

9.  Cotton-Mill Mazdoor Union, Fazlika                                    25 August 1967

10. Abohar cotton & Grain Merchant’s Association, Abohar     8 January 1969

11. Safai Karamchai Union Nagar Palika, Firozpur City            3 March 1969

12.  Bhiwani Mill Karamchari Sangh, Abohar                11 March 1969

13.  Punjab Government Labour Union, PWD              28 March 1969

       & B & R, Firozpur City.

14.  Rickshaw Worker’s Union, Firozpur                                  25 May 1970

15.  Bakery Worker’s Union, Firozpur                          17 March 1971

16.  Firozpur Agro-Industries Association, Firozpur                  28 July 1971

17.  Firozpur Central Co-operative Bank Employees     14 March 1971

        Union, Firozpur City.

 

Serial              Name of Trade Union                                    Date of registration

No.

18.  Municipal Staff Union, Abohar                                           22 May 1972

19.  Fazlika Central Co-operative Bank Employees                   1 March 1973

20.  Nagir Palika Karamchari Sangh, Firozpur               28 February, 1973

21.  Biscuit Bakery Workers’s Union, Fazlika               7 November 1973

22.  Safai Karamchari Union, Fazilka                                        9 September 1974

23.  Safai Sewak Union Municipal Committee, Abohar 27 January 1975

24.  Zila Firozpur Cotton & Ginning Mill Mazdoor Union          14 April 1975

       Fazlika.

25.  M.E.S. Civilian Workers Employees’ Union Firozpur         21 February

        Firozpur Cantonment.

26.   Galla Mazdoor Union, Firozpur                                         26 September 1976

27.   Building Usari Mazdoor Union, Talwandi Bhai.      11 April 1977

28.   Vishkarma Union Firozpur City                                         8 August 1977

29.    Cotton-Mill  Labour Union, Abohar                                 25 October 1977

30.    Northern Railway Welding & Trading Contractors           2 June 1978

            Association, Firozpur.

 

CHAPTER  XVIII

PUBLIC LIFE AND VOLUNTARY SOCIAL SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS

 

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

Legislatures

Historical Retrospect :- Representative Government was partially introduced into India under the Government of India Act, 1919, which created a bicameral Central Legislature, consisting of a Council of State and a Legislative Assembly, with a duration of 5 and 3 years respectively. The Act also created  a legislative council in every governor’s province including the Punjab, with a normal duration  of 3 years.

The Government of India Act, 1919, was replaced by the Government of India Act, 1935. The Central Legislature continued as before. A bicameral legislative was introduced into the Punjab, consisting of Legislative Assembly and a Legislative Council. The normal duration of the Punjab Legislative Assembly was 5 years. The Punjab Legislative Council was a permanent body, one-third of its members retiring every third year.

The franchise, under the aforesaid two Acts, was generally based on citizenship, residence, community, religion, race, age, sex, property, taxation, etc. Special  representation was provided for commerce, industry, mining, plantation, labour, land-holders, the Punjab University, and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. As a result, the constituencies were of diverse nature and the qualifications  for membership varied accordingly, except with respect to age.

The first General Elections under the Government of India Act, 1919, were held in 1920, simultaneously both for the Legislative Assembly and the Punjab Legislative Council. Thereafter, the elections were held at statutory intervals, with interruptions in view of further constitutional reforms.

The first general Elections, under the Government of India Act, 1935 were held in January 1937 and the second and last in March 1946. This long gap was due to the interruption in the normal working of the constitution in course of the World War II (1939-45).

General Elections held under the Constitution of India :After the general Elections in March 1946, a Constituent Assembly was elected by the members of the Provincial Legislative Assemblies and it first sitting was held on 9 December 1946. It was  entrusted with the framing of a constitution for the country. Under the Indian Independence Act, 1947, enacted by the British Parliament on 18 July 1947, India achieved Independence on 15 August 1947. While the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly was busy with the preparation of Draft Constitution of India, the Constituent Assembly, on 27 September 1947 called upon the provincial governments to formulate proposals for the formation of constituencies of the proposed House of the People, providing therein for the reservation of seats for the Muslims, the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and the Indian Christians. The Draft Constitution of India was published on 26 February 1948. The Constituent Assembly in its letter, dated 15 March 1948 asked  the provincial governments to take immediate steps for the preparation of the electoral rolls. It intimated that the Draft Constitution provided that elections to the Lower House of the Antral and Provincial Legislatures should be held on the basis of adult franchise, the minimum age of voters being 21 years which should be calculated with reference to 1 January 1949, and that a person, who had not resided at the place of registration for at least 180 days during the year ending 31 March 1948, was not eligible for enrolment as an elector. Further it intimated that there would be no separate communal electorates and, therefore, only one composite roll for all communities should be prepared, but in order to determine whether a candidate for a reserved seat was a voter belonging to the particular  community, namely, the Muslim, the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes, for which the seat was reserved, the electoral roll should contain the necessary information. The Constitution of India was approved in November 1949, and enforced from  26 January 1950.

General Elections, 1951-52 :- After the completion of the Census operation in 1951, steps were taken to hold elections. The task of conducting the General Elections in 1951-52, under the Constitution of India, both for the House of People (Lok Sabha) and State Legislative Assemblies (Vidhan Sabha), was of great magnitude and complexity. The influx of refugees from Pakistan, coupled with the extension  of franchise from 13 per cent to about 50 per cent of the population (under universal franchise), required the preparation of almost entirely new rolls in a very limited time. The delimitation of constituencies had to be undertaken afresh; 7,000 polling stations (including tehsils Moga and Muktsar) had to be set up in contrast with 1,300 in 1946. Thousands of subordinate staff had to be made conversant with the new and complicated election procedure.

During 1951-52, the total population of the Firozpur District was 7,20,511 (1951 census), there were, 2 Parliamentary Constituencies (including one doubled-member constituency) ( including parts of the Ludhiana and Hisar district), and 8 Punjab Legislative  Assembly Constituencies (including two double-member constituencies) were allocated to the District. One Assembly seat was allocated to a population of 1,00,079 or 46,571 voters and the elections were held between 26 December 1951 and 15 February 1952.

Parliamentary Constituencies

There were two Parliamentary constituencies in the District, viz. Fazlika-Sirsa and Firozpur-Ludhiana (double-member constituency) and these constituencies consisted of 3,60,933 and 7,64,171 electors respectively. Some area of the Fazlika, Sirsa constituency fell into the  Sirsa District (now in the Haryan State), Faridkot and Bhatinda districts, where as the Firozpur-Ludhiana (doubled-member) constituency had included some area of Faridkot and Ludhiana districts. The candidate elected from the Fazlika-Sirsa Parliamentary Constituency had  affiliation with the Congress, whereas both of those elected from the double-member Firozpur-Ludhiana  Parliamentary Constituency  had party affiliation with the Akali Dal. The number of votes polled by the different political parties was as follows :

Name of  Party                       Number of                              Percentage of

                                                Valid votes                             Total valid

                                                Polled                                      Votes Polled

 

Indian National Congress          3,59,282                                  65.1

 

Akali Dal                                  3,58,519                                  34.9

 

Independents                            1,79,616                                  17.5

 

Scheduled Castes                     1,16,057                                  12.3

Federation

 

Jang Sangh                                  12,672                                  1.2

                                                ------------------------------------------------

                        Total                10,26,146                                100

 

Punjab Legislative Assembly Constituencies

 

For the Punjab Legislative Assembly, there were 11 constituencies consisting of 13 seats, in the District. In 1972, Mehna, Bagha Purana,

 

Muktsar and Kot Bhai (double-member) constituencies of the Firozpur District were transferred to the newly created Faridkot District. The constituencies left in the present Firozpur District, were Moga-Dharmkot (double-member constituency), Khuian Sarwar, Abohar, Mallanwala, Firozpur, Guru Har Sahai and Fazlika.

During 1951-52, the total population of the District was 7,20,511 persons and the electors were 3,96,892. Out of the 8 elected candidates, 2 had affiliation with the Akali Dal, 3 with the congress, and 3 Independents. The total number of votes polled by each party is given hereunder :

Name of  Party                       Total Number of                     Percentage of

                                                 votes  Polled                         

                                                                                   

Independent                             81,043                                     30.87                                                  

Indian National Congress          99,185                                     37.18

           

Shiromani Akali Dal                  42,652                                     16.34

                       

Bhartiya Janta Party                  22,558                                     8.69

 

Communist Party                      9,212                                       3.72

 

Forward Bloc                           1,320                                       0.40

 

Punjab State Socialist Party      6,539                                       2.80       

                                                ------------------------------------------------

                        Total                2,62,509                                  100

 

General Elections 1957 :- The experience of the first General Elections in 1951-52 proved to be exceedingly useful in the second General Elections in 1957. the latter elections in the State were, however, attended in some respects with even greater difficulty than the first General Elections. The area and the electorate involved had become much larger with the merger of the erstwhile Pepsu and Punjab on 1 November 1956, whereas the total period for the polls was reduced appreciably (i.e. 24 February to 14 March 1957). At the same time, the delimitation of the constituencies had to be effected only a few weeks before the constituencies were called upon to elect members, with the result that the necessary arrangements had to be rushed through in the minimum time.

The population of the Firozpur District (excluding the Moga and Muktsar tehsils transferred to the Faridkot District in 1972) was 7,20,511 (1951 Census). The total number of electors was 3,37,874. In accordance with the report of the Delimitation Commission, 1 Lok Sabha Constituency and 5 Punjab Vidhan Sabha Constituencies (including 1 double-member constituency) were allocated to the District.

Lok Sabha Constituency

The Lok Sabha Constituency in the District was the Firozpur Constituency. The candidate elected from it had affiliation with the Congress. The number of votes by the different parties was as follows:

Name of Party                        Total number of                      Percentage

                                                Votes polled

 

Indian National Congress          1,20,548                                  43.1

 

Communist Party of Indian        73,109                                     26.3

 

Bhartiya Jan Sangh                   41.702                                     14.9

 

Independent                             23,378                                     8.3

 

Praja Socialist Party                  20,467                                     7.4

                                                --------------------------------------------

                        Total               2,79,204                                  100

 

Punjab Vidhan Constituencies

 

The 5 Punjab Vidhan Sabha Constituencies in the District comprised 6 seats, there being 1 double-member constituency  and one reserved for the Scheduled  Castes. The names of these constituencies were: Abohar, Fazlika, Guru Har Sahai, Firozpur and Zira. Out of the 6 elected candidates,, 5 had affiliation with the Congress and I with the Jan Sang. The number of votes polled by the different contesting parties is given hereunder :

 

 

Name of Party                        Total number of                      Percentage

                                                Votes polled

 

Indian National Congress          1,11,395                                  42,44

 

Communist Party of Indian        33,148                                     12.65

 

Bhartiya Jan Sangh                   38,429                                     14.76

 

Independent                             65,995                                     25.34

 

Praja Socialist Party                  20,043                                     0.85

 

Scheduled Caste Federation     2,612                                       3.21

                                                -------------------------------------------

                        Total               2,62,509                                  100

 

General Elections, 1962 :- The entire poll was conducted throughout the then Punjab State, except in the  snow-bound Kulu and Seraj constituencies, on a single day on 24 February 1962, both for the Lok Sabha and the Punjab Vidhan Sabha.

The Two-Member Constituencies (Abolition) Act, 1961, abolished the two-member constituencies for the Vidhan Sabhas and the Lok Sabha.  Under the Act, the Election  Commission, India was empowered to divide each of  the two-member constituencies into two single member- constituencies, delimit the extent, decide in which of them the seat should be reserved for the Scheduled Castes and to amend and revise  the Delimitation of Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies Order, 1961, issued on 7 December 1961. According to this order, in the present  Firozpur District, there was one Lok Sabha Constituency, i.e. the Firozpur Constituency, and 6 Punjab Vidhan Sabha Constituencies, i.e. Abohar, Fazlika, Guru Har Sahai, Firozpur Zira and Dharamkot (reserved for a member of the Scheduled Castes Constituencies. Out of the total population of 8,79,599 (1961 Census) of the District, the Number of electors was 3,90,095.

LOK SABHA CONSTITUENCIES

There was one Lok Sabaha Constituency in the District i.e.  Firozpur Constituency. The candidate elected from this constituency had affiliation with the Congress. The total number of votes polled by each of the contesting parties was as follows :

Name of Party                        Total number of                      Percentage

                                                Votes polled

 

Indian National Congress          1,15,913                                  36.69

 

Shiromani Akali Dal                  44,115                                     13.96

                                   

Bhartiya Jan Sangh                   83,761                                     26.64

 

Communist Party of Indian        65,655                                     21.82

 

Independent                             10,963                                       0.89

 

                                                --------------------------------------------

                        Total               3,20,407                                  100
PUNJAB  VIDHANN  SABHA CONSTITUENCIES

The 6 Punjab Vidhan Sabha constituencies in the District were : Abohar, Fazlika, Guru Har Sahai, Firozpur, Zira and Dharmkot (S.C.)

Out of the 6 elected candidates from the above constituencies, I had affiliation with the Congress, 2 with the Akali Dal (Master Group), 2 with the Jan Sang and 1 was Independent. The total number of valid votes polled in favour of each of the contesting parties in the District was as follow :

Name of Party                        Total number of                      Percentage

                                                Votes polled

 

Indian National Congress          95,476                                     39.48

 

Shiromani Akali Dal                  49,130                                     20,32

(Master Group)

                                   

Bhartiya Jan Sangh                   50,798                                     21.01

 

Independent, including other      46,427                                     19.19

Unrecognized parties

                                                --------------------------------------------

                        Total               2,41,831                                  100

 

General Elections, 1967 :- The General Election held in 1967 were the fourth in the country and the first in the new State of the Punjab, which came into being on 1 November 1966 after the reorganization of the State. The constituencies delimited in 1965 were subjected to delimitation, as notified by the Delimitation Commission In November 1966. According to the present Firozpur District, there were 2 Lok Sabha Constituencies and 8 Punjab Vidhan Sabha Constituencies. Out of the total population of 8,79,599 (1961 Census) of the District, the number of electors was 4,71,290. As was the case during the third General Elections in 19662, the poll in 1967 was held throughout the State in a single day on 19 February 1967.

LOK SABHA CONSTITUENCIES

The two Lok Sabha Constituencies in the District were Fazlika and Firozpur. The candidate elected from the Fazlika Constituency  had affiliation with the Congress, whereas that elected from the Firozpur constituency had affiliation with the Akali Dal (Sant Group). The total number of valid votes polled in favour of each of the contesting parties in the District was as follows :

Name of Party                        Total number of                      Percentage

                                                Votes polled

 

Indian National Congress          2,68,506                                  41.00

,

Shiromani Akali Dal                  1,62,198                                  24.77

(Sant Group)

                       

Communist Party of Indian        92,453                                    14.12

           

Bhartiya Jan Sangh                   88,046                                     13.45

 

Independents                            19,564                                     2.99

 

Shiromani Akali Dal                  14,817                                     2.26

( Master Group)

 

Swatantra Party                        9,273                                      1.41

 

                                                --------------------------------------------

                        Total               6,54,857                                  100
 

 

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