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Opinion

BJP and JJP suffer setback in Haryana civic polls

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Bharatiya Jan, ruler of HaryanaThe ata Party (BJP) -Janta Jannayak Party (JJP) suffered an electoral setback on Wednesday, as it was only able to win one of the three mayor seats for which elections were held on Sunday, a result that occurred in the context of a farmers’ contest protesting three controversial farm laws.

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, have camped on Delhi’s borders since November 26, demanding the repeal of all three laws.

While the BJP won in Panchkula, Congress and the Haryana Jan Chetna Party (HJCP) held positions of mayors in Sonipat and Ambala, respectively. It was the first time that direct elections for the mayoral positions were held in the three cities. The setback for the ruling coalition came as the BJP swept through mayoral elections in five Haryana cities two years ago.

In 2018, the party had won mayoral elections in Hisar, Karnal, Panipat, Rohtak and Yamunanagar. In November this year, the ruling team failed to win the Baroda assembly by vote in Sonipat, and Congress retained the seat.

For the mayoral post in Ambala, HJCP’s Shakti Rani Sharma, wife of former Union Minister Venod Sharma, emerged as a surprise winner, defeating BJP’s Vandana Sharma by a margin of 8,084 votes. The congressional candidate finished in fourth place, officials said. The victory was a boost for the party led by Venod Sharma, which tasted its first victory after the 2014 Haryana assembly poll debacle.

Kulbushan Goyal of the BJP will be the new mayor of Panchkula. He defeated Upinder Kaur Ahluwalia from Congress by 2,057 votes.

For the mayoral elections in Panchkula, 1,333 voters exercised the NOTE option.

Congress won the Sonipat mayoral elections. Nikhil Madaan of the party defeated Lalit Batra of BJP by 13,818 votes.

Elections were also held to elect councilors from all the districts in the three cities. Voting also took place to elect the president and members of the Rewari municipal council and the municipal committees of Sampla (Rohtak), Dharuhera (Rewari) and Ukalana (Hisar).

In Ambala MC’s polls, the BJP won eight of the 20 seats, HJCP 7, Congress 3, and Haryana Democratic Front 2.

In Sonipat, the BJP won 10 districts and Congress 9. In one seat, an Independiente was victorious. In Panchkula, the BJP and Congress won nine and seven seats, respectively. The JJP won two. The position of Chairman of the Rewari Municipal Council was held by Poonam Yadav of the BJP.

(With PTI inputs)

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