Independents win 20 of 35 MCG wards, BJP second
Fighting in all 35 wards of the Millennium City, only 14 councillors of the Bharatiya Janata Party emerged victorious.
GURUGRAM: At the end of the elections for the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG), not much was left for the Bharatiya Janata Party to cheer for after the results were announced on Sunday night.
The Gurugram civic elections were significant for the ruling BJP, as it was fighting on the basis of three years of its work in the city and the state.
Fighting in all 35 wards of the Millennium City, only 14 councillors of the saffron party emerged victorious. The number may not be enough for the party to stake a claim for the posts of Mayor, Deputy Mayor and other important posts within the Gurugram civic body.
By winning 20 wards, it was the independent candidates who stole the show on Sunday. These 20 independent councillors will now play the role of kingmakers.
In the high profile ward-9, independent candidate Pramila Kablana trumped over Himani Aggarwal, sister-in-law of BJP MLA from Gurugram Umesh Aggarwal. In the 2014 Haryana Assembly elections, Aggarwal had secured the highest number of votes ever to become the MLA from Gurugram.
All three parties, namely BJP, Congress and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), on Sunday asserted that a majority of the independents support their ideologies.Other major wards where BJP lost were ward-19 ward-30 and ward-35.
While the results were not upto the BJP's high expectations, its competitor INLD fared even worse. Out of the 23 wards that it contested, the Om Prakash Chautala-led outfit was able to win a solitary ward, ward-4.
"The process of democracy always provides us with the scope of introspection and then change accordingly. The results have not been to our liking. We expected to cross the majority mark of 18. However, we will see where we went wrong. Our party workers should not feel disheartened with the process," said BJP spokesperson Jawahar Yadav.
"With a large number of independents emerging victorious, it has highlighted how much dissatisfaction is there against the Khattar-led BJP government. Most independents back our party's ideology," said Ashok Tanwar, president, Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee.
When asked why the Congress did not fight on its party symbol, Tanwar replied, "No doubt we should have fought on our party symbol. But there were many senior leaders who were against the move."
In 2011 as well, Gurugram residents had voted mostly for independents. Most victorious councilors later joined the ruling Congress to elect the Mayor.
Despite pleasant weather, turnout remains low at 55 p.c.
GURUGRAM: For a city that registered a voting percentage of more than 60 per cent in the general, Assembly and the previous municipal elections, the turnout of voters in Gurugram for elections to the Municipal Corporation was extremely low.
A below par mark of 55 per cent was registered in the second Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) elections.
Surprisingly, the rural wards showed a higher percentage of voting, while the urban wards were found wanting. Though there were sustained efforts to inspire voters to be a part of democratic process on the part of the district administration, it seemingly failed to influence the large electorate.
Apart from rural voters, these elections were significant for voters in urban wards, as there have been large number of complaints over civic apathy.
In the end, however, complaints did not amount to votes.
Even when the pleasant weather on Sunday gave the residents no reason to abstain from voting, numbers were far less than what was expected.
However, there were also those who defied all odds and braved their way through varied obstables to be a part of democratic process. Despite their frail health, a sizable number of senior citizens came in to cast their vote.
"I have always felt that rather than whining, people must act. Democracy in any form provides us to at least be a part of change," said 83-year-old Deepak Grover, who was brought to polling booth 11 by his family members.
There was also great excitement shown by young, female voters. "For long, I have been dissatisfied by the work that has been done in my area. I have been following my candidates closely and I have made my decision and will cast my vote accordingly," said Rukhmini Yadav of ward-33.
The second civic elections in Gurugram were not devoid of drama either. There were several complaints received about political candidates trying to influence the voters and large number of fake votes being cast from the old Gurugram area.
An imposter was held when he tried to cast the vote with someone else's identity card. Two people were also arrested from the posh DLF phase-1 area for showing fake identity cards. Moreover, minor scuffle was reported from the poll booth in Sector-31.
With the exception of these isolated incidents, polling was largely smooth and peaceful.