Uttarakhand urban body polls: Independents spoil the day for BJP, Congress

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was leading the mayor/chairman seats in 84 urban local bodies in Uttarakhand till Tuesday evening. The major damage has been posed by the independent candidates who have swept the ward seats with a huge margin.

As per the state election commission (SEC) data, results of 54 seats of mayor/chairman had been declared until 6pm, of which the BJP had won 25 and the Congress 15. The independents had won 17 seats.

The independent candidates also did well in the election for the councillors of 1,064 wards across the state’s 13 districts, having won 384 seats of the 657 for which results had been declared until 6pm. The BJP’s 165 candidates had won the membership while the Congress had won 105 seats. One each had been won by the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD).

Polling across 84 ULBs had taken place on Sunday, with nearly 70% of the 23,53,923 voters casting their ballot. There are 4,978 candidates in fray for the mayoral seats (municipal corporations), chairman (municipal councils and town panchayats), and councillors (wards).

BJP state president Ajay Bhatt told HT, “The counting process will continue until late at night. I can only comment once the results of every local body has been declared.”

Congress state president Pritam Singh claimed that most of its rebel leaders, after being denied the ticket, contested as independents for the councillor and chairman positions. “Independents whom we did not give ticket are winning the chairman and councillor seats. This shows that the people favoured our party. However, I could only talk about the results once the state election commission has released the final result.”

Nearly 4,000 police personnel were deployed across the 44 counting centres along with an additional police force of 11,000 personnel deployed across the state to ensure peaceful counting.

A few incidents were reported in Dehradun where BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi protested against the polling personnel after they questioned his presence at the counting centre. Another was reported in Haridwar where the Congress and the BJP supporters reportedly entered into a scuffle.

First Published: Nov 21, 2018 15:55 IST

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