Chandigarh: Local bodies’ elections

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2016: BJP 20/ 26 seats, SAD 1

Rohit Mullick & Deepak Yadav, BJP wins 20 of 26 seats, SAD 1 in Chandigarh municipal polls, Dec 21, 2016: The Times of India

The BJP-SAD alliance swept the Chandigarh municipal corporation elections, winning 21 out of 26 seats, and immediately termed it a victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation initiative. While BJP won 20 seats, ally SAD took one.

It was Congress that had turned the election into an indirect referendum on `notebandi', raising the issue more frequently than other local concerns. This made BJP take an aggressive stand with party president Amit Shah calling demonetisation “a crusade against corruption“.

Congress strategy backfired as it could win only four seats and that too in wards where BJP had not fielded candidates in favour of SAD. Interestingly , the one independent candidate who won is a BJP rebel.

BJP not only got full majority in the corporation but also received maximum votes from the city's poorer areas and villages whose residents are supposed to have been worst hit by demonetisation.There are 12 wards in the poorer sections, populated mostly with migrants from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan.BJP won 11 of these.

Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher added, “People have voted in favour of demonetisation and against corruption. It's also the first major electoral win for BJP after demonetisation.“

Even the biggest victory margin came from the poorer sections, with Anil Dubey of the BJP winning ward 24 against Nasrullah Khan of the Congress by more than 9,000 votes.

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