CHANDIGARH: The demonetisation had no impact on the voters here, as it was a landslide victory for the BJP in the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC) elections results declared on Tuesday, with the party winning 20 of the 26 seats.
Despite the Congress trying to cash in on the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in the municipal elections by highlighting the inconvenience the decision had caused to the general public, the voters evidently felt otherwise.
The Congress was decimated to only four seats in the present house. However, in the outgoing house it had nine seats, BJP had 15 councillors, BSP had one and another one was Independent.
Both the parties had used their star campaigners to convince general public. Senior Congress leader Shakil Ahmed had visited the city during the campaigning and termed the move of the central government on demonetisation as something that had put the public to hardships.
The internal fight within the Congress among Pawan Bansal, Manish Tewari and BB Behl groups is believed to have favoured the victory of BJP in the much anticipated elections.
While the junior alliance partner of the BJP in the civic body elections Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) which contested on four seats won only one seat, local SAD president Jagjit Singh Kang’s wife Inderjit Kaur lost from Ward 9. The only independent candidate who won this time was BJP rebel Dalip Sharma who won from Ward 19. Meanwhile BSP which had one councilor in the present house was wiped out in these elections.
In a major setback to the Congress, its four former mayors– Subhash Chawla, Harphool Kalyan, Poonam Sharma and Kamlesh, all were defeated.
Also Chandigarh Congress president Pardeep Chhabra’s wife Ritu Chhabra lost from Ward 3. The Left parties which contested as Independents, also lost from all the six seats they fought in.
While the BJP’s Anil Kumar Dube registered the highest victory margin of 9,421 votes from Ward 24, the lowest winning margin was 71 with which the Congress candidate Ravinder Kaur won defeating SAD’s Balwinder Kaur from Ward 15. BJP’s sitting mayor Arun Sood won from Ward 8 by defeating his nearest rival Rajesh Sharma of the Congress by 2,077 votes.
The results are clear signal that the urban voter had preferred the saffron party after all the hype on demonetisation. This win is a big boost for the ruling combine, which is battling an anti-incumbency factor in the assembly elections after having ruled for ten years.
Reacting to the poll win, BJP national president Amit Shah congratulated the local leaders and workers saying the party had been winning every election after the note ban. He tweeted, “BJP's landslide win in Chandigarh is yet another instance of people reposing their faith in BJP's development politics and PM Modi's vision.’’
While Prime Minister Narindra Modi tweeted, ”Thank you to the people of Chandigarh for supporting @BJP4India & @Akali_Dal_. This shows the importance people attach to good governance.’’
Local MP Kirron Kher said the voters had endorsed PM Modi's demonetisation move. Not to be left behind, Union finance minister Arun Jaitely tweeted, ”Chandigarh traditionally reflects the national mood.’’
With the BJP already winning 20 seats and its ally Akali Dal one seat, the alliance also has a vote of the local BJP MP Kirron Kher as an ex-officio member in the MC House of 35, which comprises nine nominated councillors who also have the voting rights. Thus for the first time the BJP had a clean sweep in the civic body elections in the city.