In what comes as a significant shot in the arm for Haryana Chief Minister (CM) Manohar Lal Khattar, just a few months ahead of 2019 general elections, the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) has swept the mayoral elections of five cities in Haryana that were held on Sunday (16 December).
In welcome news for the BJP, the party’s nominees for the posts have registered victories in all the five municipal corporations with impressive margins.
Nearly 69 per cent of the electorate exercised their franchise on Sunday to elect mayors and councillors in the municipal corporations of Yamunanagar, Karnal, Panipat, Hisar and Rohtak and municipal committees of Jakhal (Fatehabad) and Pundri (Kaithal). Elections for the mayoral posts were held directly for the first time.
In Panipat, BJP’s Avneet Kaur emerged as the winner in the mayoral race with a margin of 74,940 votes, notching up the highest victory margin among the winners.
In Yamunanagar, the party’s mayoral choice Madan Singh Chauhan won with a 40,000 plus victory margin.
In Hisar, BJP’s Gautam Sardana won by a comfortable margin of 28,091 votes while in Rohtak, where the Hoodas hold considerable sway, the BJP candidate Man Mohan won with a margin of 14,776 votes.
In CM Khattar’s hometown, Karnal, BJP’s Renu Bala won with a margin of 9,348 votes defeating independent candidate Asha Wadhwa, supported by the Congress, INLD and BSP with the town’s mayor seat being reserved for women.
BJP has generally been an influential force in few pockets of urban Haryana, but it was not until 2014, when under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it made spectacular gains in Lok Sabha and later stormed to power on its own in assembly elections held during the latter part of the year.
The BJP and the INLD-BSP alliance had fielded their candidates on their respective party symbols, while the Congress had announced support to independent candidates of their choice.
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