Dehradun: The counting of votes for Uttarakhand urban local body elections began on Tuesday with a major jolt to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as Congress takes the lead in six seats of Dehradun municipal Corporation.
The saffron party's Champawat candidate secured third position with 904 votes, while Congress's Vijay Verma won the seat with 1,315 votes, followed by Independent candidate Prakash Pandey, who got 914 votes.
In Pithoragarh district's Bering Nagar, another independent candidate, Hem Pant, won by defeating his nearest rival, BJP's Mahesh Pant. Independents seems to be heading towards victory in most places this time as they are leading in Nainital and Mussoorie as well.
The only saving grace for BJP till now has been the Rishikesh and Dehradun seats. In Rishikesh, BJP candidate Anita Mamgai is ahead with 3,195 votes, followed by independent candidate Veena Sharma and Congress's Laxmi Sajwan, while in Dehradun, its candidate Sunil Uniyal Gama is ahead for mayor's seat.
Over 60 per cent of the electorate cast their votes in urban local body polls in Uttarakhand on Sunday to seal the fate of 4,978 candidates, officials said. According to the state election commission office, the polling passed off peacefully in all 84 urban bodies, including seven municipal corporations, 39 municipal councils and 38 nagar panchayats.
Repolling was held at ward no 106, 107 and 108 of Udhampur Singh Nagar district on Monday as polling had to be stopped due to technical snag. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat had thanked the people of the state for their "enthusiastic" participation in the elections.
There are 23.53 lakh voters in the state out of which 12.20 lakh are male and 11.33 lakh female.
The civic body polls are a high stake battle for the ruling BJP which is looking to match its own impressive performance in assembly polls last year where it won 57 out of 70 seats. It is significant for the Congress too which is struggling to stage a comeback.