The results of Shimla Municipal Corporation elections 2017 have been declared. In what was a close contest, candidates supported by the Congress won 12 seats, independents took four of the seats and a CPI (M)-supported candidate got one seat.
So far as the counting progress is going on, the BJP has won 9 seats so far, while the Congress managed to bag 4 only. Dhumal is challenged by Union Health Minister JP Nadda, who is trying to return to state politics ahead of the Assembly elections. He said people had now put their trust in the BJP as they believed that it was the only party that could ensure an all-round development of the erstwhile summer capital of the British India. The fourth independent candidate, Rajesh Kumar, is a BJP rebel and is likely to extend support to enable his former party to get a simple majority. In the voting held on Friday, the city saw a turnout of almost 52,000 out of the total 91,000 electorate to elect the new civic body. Polling percentage went up to 33 percent in the afternoon. Three independent candidates have also won the election.
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The previous BJP government had made provision for direct election to the two top posts in civic bodies by amending the Act, which was later reversed to old system of indirect election by present government. In fact, senior national leaders of both the major political parties camped at Shimla for the Town Hall polls. This election was seen as a semi-final before the Assembly elections. The hill city will have a BJP mayor for the first time. Anand Kaushal, who was supported by Congress, won from ward no 10. On the other hand, the confident strategy of BJP of sending party favored candidates in all wards resulted in party's emergence as a single largest party. He defeated Jeet Ram Panwar of Congress by a margin of 541 votes.
The lowest victory margin was in Shanti Vihar ward, where six candidates were in fray. Three independent candidates also won the election.