BJP sweeps mayoral elections in Haryana
Chandigarh: Ruling BJP on Wednesday swept the mayoral elections in five cities in Haryana, with Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar terming it as an endorsement of the policies and development agenda of the government by the people.
The party's mayoral candidates from Hisar, Karnal, Panipat, Rohtak and Yamunanagar registered emphatic wins.
Though opposition Congress did not contest these polls, some of its leaders extended support to independents. The INLD-BSP combine, which was contesting some of the mayoral seats on party symbol, faced a severe beating and was even behind the independents.
It was the first time that mayors of the five municipal corporations were elected directly. Earlier, the councillors used to elect the mayor. Also the Haryana Election Commission had decided to treat 'none-of-the-above' or NOTA option as a "fictional candidate", making it must for winning candidates to secure more votes than those cast for NOTA. In case, NOTA would have got more votes, the election would have been held afresh.
The election was considered a battle of prestige for the chief minister who had campaigned extensively.
Asked if there was a possibility that Assembly polls, which are due in October next year, would be held together with the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Khattar tld reporters, "If there is any proposal from the Centre's side, we are ready (for the assembly polls). But on our part, we have said that these polls will be held as per schedule.
From Panipat, Avneet Kaur registered a massive victory over her nearest rival Anshu Kaur, who was backed by a local Congress leader, The BJP candidate had polled 1,26,321 votes and won by a margin of 74,940 votes.
Immediately after her win, Avneet said among her immediate priority will be to come up with a plan to decongest traffic in Panipat city.
From Khattar's home constituency Karnal, Renu Bala Gupta overcame a combined opposition challenge. She defeated Asha Wadhwa, who was supported by Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Congress, by a margin of 9,348 votes.
Gautam Sardana defeated Rekha Aren by a margin of 28,091 votes to register win from Hisar, where the rival candidate was supported by two senior Congress leaders from there.
Manmohan Goyal defeated Congress-supported Sita Ram from Rohtak by a margin of 14,776 votes while in Yamunanagar, Madan Singh defeated Rakesh Kumar.
There are 10 municipal corporations in the state and polls were earlier held in Gurugram and Faridabad. Due to delimitation exercise and related litigation, municipal polls are yet to be held in Sonipat MC, Panchkula and Ambala.