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Shimla Municipality polls: BJP-backed candidates win 17 out of 34 wards

For the first time in three decades, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is close to winning majority in Shimla Municipality elections. According to reports, the saffron party has won 17 wards out of 34. Congress won 13, independents 3 and CPI(M) got 1 seat.

The number of wards was increased from 25 in 2012 polls to 34 this time and the post of Mayor, who would elected by indirect votes has been reserved for SC woman.

The elections were not held on party symbols but all the three major contenders the Congress, BJP and CPI(M) declared the list of party-backed candidates. Top leaders of Congress and the BJP, including the chief minister Virbhadra Singh, Union minister J P Nadda and former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, joined the campaign and held road shows. According to The Tribune, BJP backed 34 candidates, Congress 27 and the Left supported 22 candidates.

The Congress despite coming short hasn’t abandoned hopes of trying to form board. It is looking for support from independents and the lone CPI(M) backed candidate. However, BJP is confident of getting majority.

For 26 years, Congress was in helm of Shimla municipality elections before CPI(M) emerged victorious in 2012.

A moderate polling of 57.80% was recorded in the 34-ward Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) elections on Friday. Polling started on a moderate rate and picked up as the day advanced but slowed down in the last leg due to heavy rains. The Nabha ward, reserve for Scheduled Caste women, and Shanti Bihar ward recorded heaviest polling at 66%, while Benmur ward, reserved for women, recorded lowest polling at 47%.

Over 52,000 out of the total 91,000 electorate exercised their franchise, election officials said. The polling started at 8.00 AM and 14% votes were cast by 10.00 AM. Polling percentage went up to 33% in the afternoon. It further increased to 47% at 2.00 PM and the overall polling at the end stood at 57.8%.

65% polling was recorded in Totu ward followed by Kaithu (63%), Upper Dhalli (62%), among others. The polling was peaceful and barring a snag in a voting machine in Tara Hall booth. No other incident was reported from any other booth. There was a complaint of snag in the electronic voting machine (EVM) in Kaithu ward, but was found incorrect by officials. 50% (17) seats have been reserved for women including three for SC woman and three seats are reserved for SC men.

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