MC elections BJP on tough turf as Congress Gains

Shimla April 8
Despite claims and counter claims of popularity among masses both major parties failed to perform while local impact made way to the victories. Significantly, the elections for four municipal corporations including Dharmasala, Solan Mandi and Palampur held on April 07. The congress party was successful to gain clear majority in Palampur and Solan while Bhartiya Jananta Party turned victorious in Mandi only. In municipal committee Dharamsala BJP though emerged at largest party with 8 seats in the house of 17 but it needed support of one independent to install its mayor at Dharmasala. The BJP stalwarts failed to impress voters in Dharamsala during their short formal stints. Despite all odds it was Rakesh Pathania forest minister who camped in the city for over two months. He also avoided assembly sessions to muster support in favour of BJP.
Pertinent to mention that there were 64 wards in four MC’s that went into elections. The Congress party grabbed 29 seats, BJP 28 and seven were won by independent candidates.
In Mandi MC election the BJP performed fairly well as it won 11 seats out of 15 whereas 4 were won by congress. The issue that clicked in the town was ‘CM factor’. It was for the first time the district had its MLA as Chief Minister and that too humble and accessible. The charisma of Jai Ram Thakur played well in Mandi and it also showed the ground to congress stalwarts Pt. Sukh Ram, Anil Sharma and Kaul Singh Thakur.

The results of Solan MC surprised one and all as it was apprehended that Dr. Rajeev Bindal would successfully garner support for the BJP but despite all efforts BJP failed to make way in Solan. The suspected tussle amongst BJP leaders in Solan was reason of debacle of BJP. Here BJP could win only 7 seats out of 17 while congress won 9 and one independent made way to the house.

Palampur MC election proved a cake walk for the congress as the party won 11 seats out of 15 while ruling BJP had won only two and two went to independents. Pertinent to mention that the town had influence of former BJP leader and two time chief minister Shanta Kumar, had Indu Goswami member parliament and Vipan Parmar Speaker legislative assembly. But nothing went well in favour of BJP and the party performed disappointingly. The working of family of Brij Bihari Lal Butail helped congress party to make a clean sweep in the MC elections in Palampur. The performance of congress had paved way for the next generation of Butial family into elector politics.

Although BJP and congress would take reigns of two MC’s but the election results had encouraged congress leadership and workers as well and they were now more active for the next assembly elections. At the same time BJP had almost one and half year ahead to improve its ground to accomplish mission repeat.