Shimla poll victory shows people's faith in dev politics: Narendra Modi

Shimla civic polls see low turnout

He also congratulated BJP's state unit chief Satpal Singh Satti and all the party workers for the win. The Congress party in Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) was ruling for 26 years in a row till the last elections.

The poll verdict to the municipal body assumes significance with the state going for assembly elections next year. The BJP had deployed Union Minister J.P. Nadda and former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal, while the Congress was led by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. In the voting held on Friday, the city saw a turnout of almost 52,000 out of the total 91,000 electorate to elect the new civic body.

Though the BJP could not reach the majority but the party seems all set to take reins of the Shimla MC as the Independent winning candidate, Rakesh Kumar, happens to be a BJP rebel and he is most likely to support the party. Polling percentage went up to 33 percent in the afternoon.

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The BJP was expecting better results because of "Modi factor" and anti-incumbancy against the Congress. Tibetans in-exile also exercised their franchise.The electoral officer told UNI that after minor snag in the EVM at Tarahall elections ended peacefully. The results have left the field for assembly elections literally open for both the parties. Anand Kaushal, who was supported by Congress, won from ward no 10. The hill city will have a BJP mayor for the first time. None of the candidates contested on party symbols.

The previous BJP government had made provision for direct election to the two top posts in civic bodies by amending the Act, which was later reversed to old system of indirect election by present government. For Congress the largest victory margin was achieved by Rita Kaffur, who defeated Sheetal Sharma of BJP by a margin of 469 votes.

On numbers, if the Congress adds three Independents and CPM to raise its rally to 16 will still need to councillors to stake its claim for the Mayor's post. In 8 wards the victory margin remained less than 50 votes, indicating how close the contest was.

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