Uttarakhand: local bodies elections

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2016: Panchayat election

The Times of India Jan 08 2016

Tapan Susheel & Kautilya Singh


Win 17 Of 47 Seats; BSP Gets 16

In a big blow to the two major political parties in Uttarakhand, independent candidates have won the maximum number of seats in the recently concluded zila panchayat elections in Haridwar district, results of which were declared on Thursday .While Bahujan Samaj Party has won 16 of the 47 seats, ruling Congress has had to settle for a distant third position with 11 seats. But what has come as a shock is that BJP has won just three seats.

The BSP camp was jubilant. “It (our victory) is a befitting reply by the citizens of Haridwar district to Congress, which had tried to destroy us. We are sure we will constitute our own board this time also,“ said former MLA Mohammad Shahjaj.

In 2010, too, the BSP had formed its own board, with the support of independents. The board was dissolved by the state government in 2015 after a sum of Rs 1 crore was seized by the Uttar Pradesh police near Bareilly on September 15, 2015 from the official car of Anjum Begum, then chairperson of the zila panchayat board.She has been re-elected from Beldi Salhapur ward.

The BJP, which had won eight seats in the 2010 polls, said had the polls been conducted on the party symbol, things would have been different. “In that case, we would have registered a good victory,“ said BJP MLA (Haridwar) Madan Kaushik.

The party had hoped to repeat the 2014 Lok Sabha elections success when the BJP's Ramesh Pokhriyal had won from Haridwar constituency with a big margin of 1.77 lakh against Congress candidate and CM Harish Rawat's wife Rawat Renuka Rawat.

For Congress, whose members had termed the Haridwar panchayat poll a “semi-final“ before the 2017 assembly elections, the results have come as quite a jolt. The party had put all its might into the grassroots-level election.

CM Rawat had attended a string of rallies and Congress ministers of the state were given charge of the six blocks of Haridwar. Many had been camping in the district to ensure victory for party-backed candidates. Congress party spokesman Mathura Dutt Joshi said that eight of the 17 independents who won have Congress roots.

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