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Local body polls to test BJP, Congress in Uttarakhand

The voting will take place on 18 November and results will be declared on 20 November.

Statesman News Service | Dehradun |

Both the BJP and Congress have started the process of finalising party candidates for the forthcoming local body elections. As the date of nomination nears, many hopefuls have reached Delhi to meet top leaders.

The nomination process will start from 20 October to conclude on 23 October. The voting will take place on 18 November and results will be declared on 20 November.

Of a total of 92 urban local bodies, elections will take place in 8 municipal corporations, 41 municipal councils and 43 town ‘Panchayats’ in Uttarakhand. In the first phase, elections will be held in seven municipal corporations, 39 municipal councils and 38 town ‘Panchayats’. Polls for remaining local bodies will take place later.

The local body polls is a prestige issue for the ruling BJP. The saffron brigade is facing public anger in many parts of Uttarakhand due to the ongoing anti-encroachment drive.

Acting on an Uttarakhand High Court order, the demolition, identification of illegal encroachments and removal of illegal constructions on footpaths, lanes, roads and other places and sealing of illegal encroachments in underway in Dehradun city.

The Mussoorie- Dehradun Development Authority, Municipal Corporation (Dehradun) and district administration are executing the operation. Similar drives are on in other parts of the hill state.

To gauge the mood, Uttarakhand Congress state president Pritam Singh interacted with party workers in Dehradun on Wednesday. The Congress faces an uphill task after its defeat in the 2017 state assembly election.

The local body polls will set the tone for the Lok Sabha election in Uttarakhand. The Congress has high hopes but it needs to overcome party infighting and contest as a united force.

The local body election will also test the Trivendra Rawat government. This time, too, the election is likely to see a head-to-head fight between BJP and Congress.