BJP wins Shimla corporation for the first time

Counting for Shimla civic body polls begins today

In the oldest municipal corporation in the country, Tibetans also exercised their franchise in the elections. Independent candidates won three wards, while the Communist Party of India (Marxist) won one seat.

The victory in the Corporation will further boost BJP for the assembly election of Himachal Pradesh this year, as they are eyeing on to defeat the Congress led government. Since the State capital has residents from all over the State, the local elections were taken very seriously by political parties who considered it as a strong indication of party fortunes for the Vidhan Sabha elections later this year.

The main competition was between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress. The fourth independent candidate, Rajesh Kumar, is a BJP rebel and is likely to extend support to enable his former party to get a simple majority. The poll percentage was over 57.86 till 1730 hrs as polling was continue in one or two polling both which was delayed due to technical snags.Voting began on a boring note, with below five per cent polling in the first hour and it rose to 15 per cent by 1000 hrs.

This election was the BJP's semi-final ahead of the assembly elections in the state, Member of Parliament Anurag Thakur said.

The stakes were high for six-time Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh too in these elections, as he was trying to prove that he was still a mass leader and could lead the party in the forthcoming Assembly polls.

The Congress strategy of supporting candidates seems to have backfired as the party had announced its support to candidates on 28 wards.

What has added to the BJP's apprehensions was some posts on social media by Vikramaditya Singh, the Chief Minister's son and the Youth Congress president who termed the mandate in the corporation polls as "fractured". Out of these 28 candidates, 13 have emerged victorious.

BJP's Puran Mal from Khalini seat recorded victory by the largest margin. Three independent candidates also won the election.

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