Finally, BJP to rule Shimla

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Shimla: After shaking the old Congress bastion five years back, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) finally conquered the fort here for the first time in 31 years as it got its Mayor and Deputy Mayor elected in the prestigious Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) in Himachal Pradesh on June 20.
The BJP, which was one short of simple majority with 17 seats out of 34 in SMC, got the support of two independents in Mayor’s election, and three independents in Deputy Mayor’s election.
BJP-backed Kusum Sadrat is the new Mayor and Rakesh Sharma, an independent, who contested as BJP rebel, was elected as Deputy Mayor.
They defeated the Congress candidates for coveted posts, even as the lone CPI-M councilor stayed away from the poll. The election was postponed on June 19 for want of quorum as Congress backed councilors had abstained. The SMC polls were not held on party symbols, but the political parties had officially declared their candidates.
It was dominated by Congress for 26 years. In 2012 SMC polls, the BJP got maximum 12 out of 25 seats in SMC and Congress ten. While CPI-M got just three seats in the house then, it made it to top posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor in direct elections, an amendment made by the then BJP government for civic bodies.
“We could have expected a bigger victory, had the polls been on party symbols. But the people who were claiming to stop the Modi wave in Shimla have badly failed,” former BJP Chief Minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal told mediapersons

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