Dehradun: Result of the Uttarakhand local body polls has come as a shocker for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which was hopeful of a “landslide victory”. The independent candidates have made their presence felt in municipalities and wards.
Ahead of the General Elections 2019, the local body poll results have left BJP strategists in a state of “introspection”.
Out of the 84 local bodies, BJP won 34, while opposition Congress bagged 25. rest were secured by the independents. In seven municipal corporations, BJP won five, while Congress won two. BJP managed to retain Haldwani and Dehradun municipal corporations but lost its strongest fort Haridwar to Congress.
Haridwar has remained significant for BJP owing to its Hindu politics credentials. In the state assembly it is represented by Madan Kaushik, who is apparently vying ticket to contest Lok Sabha elections from Haridwar. Besides Haridwar, party lost Doiwala municipality. It happens to be a part of chief minister Trivenda Singh Rawat’s constituency.
The party also lost Chilyanaual municipality which falls in the home turf of state BJP president Ajay Bhatt. The BJP also didn’t perform in Uttarkashi, Champawat, Tehri, Nainital, Almora, Rudraprayag and Mussoorie, represented by MLA Ganesh Joshi infamous for hitting Shaktiman horse.
“We have performed well in comparison to Congress. But yes, we will sit and discuss (reasons behind loss),” said party MLA and spokesperson Munna Chauhan. CM Rawat on the other hand claimed “Congress has received blow in the elections”.
The Congress, which has been trying hard to weave its nest after 2017 Assembly polls, has expressed satisfaction over the results. Party’s national general secretary Harish Rawat told News18 “The local body poll results are reflection that people are done with the policies of BJP governments both at centre and state.”
Former chief minister, however, added the local body polls could not necessarily reflect voter’s mood in the next Lok Sabha polls. As far as the Congress is concerned, it lost Haldwani where the son of leader of opposition Indira Hridayesh lost to BJP.