The results of Uttarakhand local body election should act as a wake-up call for the BJP. Despite launching a big poll campaign, asking the voters to support the BJP on the basis of performances of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre the Trivendra Rawat government in the states, the result has failed to meet the expectations of the party in power in the hill state. On the other hand, Congress managed to bring improvement to its position, after facing a rout in the 2017 state assembly elections.
BJP won five of the seven Mayoral seats and the Congress two in Uttarakhand. Out of a total 84 seats of Mayor/Chairman, BJP won from 34 places. Congress with 25 was close, while independent candidates surprised the two national parties by winning the coveted chairman posts of municipal councils and nagar panchayats at 23 places. The Bahujan Samajwadi Party managed to win one seat.
BJP conquered the Mayoral seat in Dehradun, Haldwani, Rishikesh, Kashipur and Rudrapur, while the Congress won at Haridwar and Kotdwar. State BJP president Ajay Bhatt said BJP had registered an emphatic win in the civic polls. “The public rejected the Congress,” he said.
The poll result provided a bombshell to many senior BJP leaders, including Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat. BJP lost chairman post from Doiwala, the assembly constituency of the CM. The Uttarakhand government’s most influential cabinet minister Madan Kaushik failed to ensure a win for party’s Mayoral candidate from Haridwar.
BJP had to bite the dust at Kotdwar, in the territory of state forest minister Harak Singh Rawat. BJP miserably failed in Almora, the home district of state BJP president Ajay Bhatt.
After putting up an impressive show in the Uttarakhand assembly elections held last year, the BJP failed to repeat the performance in the civic polls. The voters taught both Congress and BJP a hard lesson at the ward election. Of a total 1,032 results declared, independent candidates won from a record 547 places, while BJP registered win in 308 wards and Congress at 169 places.
Both the parties had to face rejection by the voters, for ignoring deserving, competent candidates and fielding their supporters with no proven record in the hustings.
The performance of Congress can be termed satisfactory as despite presence of big leaders and funds the party fought hard in the civic election. Even former Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat started campaigning late.