Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) here on Saturday created history by becoming the largest party in the Shimla Municipal Corporations elections for the first time. After winning 17 seats the BJP is sure to stake claim for the oldest Municipal house of the country. However the magic number is 18 to the house, but with one independent candidate who is a BJP rebel making it back to the party the figure can be achieved.
Congress on the other hand won 12 seats is not far behind and the left party has to be contended with only one seat. As claimed by party sources, even with support of the three independent candidates and the single leftist winner, the party would be still short by 2 seats to stake claim on the house.
Congress party leader Naresh Chauhan stated that the so-called Modi wave did not work in Shimla, as not even the BJP could reach 18 seats. He said no doubt their party performance was not as expected but even the BJP which was claiming to uproot the congress party completely has fallen short on the numbers. He said if evaluating on numbers both the Congress and BJP have improved viz a viz 2012. Congress gained 5 seats and BJP gained 4 seats, he added.
However according to experts, the BJP had applied its entire senior leadership for canvassing in the city, which helped them achieve this result. They state that though Congress fought like a cohesive unit, yet due to infighting between the party chief and the Chief Minister they ended up loser in this battle, which also has been termed by some as the semi Final to the Vidhan Sabha elections. They say that Congress in its own spat of issues delayed everything, right from announcement of candidates to issuing of the vision document, thus achieving this result.
Whereas on the other hand BJP party spokesperson Ganesh Dutt claimed that with support of two out of the four independent candidates who have won, they are sure to form the house. “We have time till June 19, thereby we shall claim our majority on Monday”, stated Dutt.
Though BJP is claiming support by the independent candidates but the key to power now lies with the independent candidate (Rakesh) from Panthaghati seat who has yet not thrown his cards open. Whereas the other three independents Kusum Lata, Sharda Chauhan and Sanjay Parmar have already extended their support to the congress party.
Break up of seats