Shimla: The CPI(M) on Monday scripted a new history in Shimla Municipal Corporation polls winning the posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor with a huge majority while the ruling BJP's dream to end the 26-year Congress dominance was shattered as it fell one seat short of majority.

The poll results came as a rude shock for the Congress as it not only lost the election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor, but failed to retain its majority in the 25-member SMC.

The Congress won ten seats against fifteen in the outgoing House while the BJP improved its tally from eight to twelve but failed to wrest the Corporation.

However, the CPI (M), which swept the election of mayor and Deputy Mayor managed to win only three wards and the people elected a hung House.

Sanjay Chauhan and Tikender Singh Panwar of CPI (M) were elected Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Corporation in the first ever direct elections while both the main political parties, Congress and the BJP, fared badly.

Sanjay defeated S S Minhas of BJP by 7,868 votes while the Congress candidate and sitting Mayor Madhu Sood finished third.

Sanjay polled 21,903 votes against 14035 votes against his nearest BJP rival while Congress candidate polled 13,278 votes.

Tikender Singh Panwar of CPI-M defeated Digvijay Singh Chauhan of BJP by 4,778 votes for the post of Deputy Mayor while the Congres candidate Devinder Singh Chauhan finished a poor third.

The BJP won twelve wards but failed to cross the magic figure of 13 while the Congress slided from 15 to 10 and CPI-M gained one seat.

The victory of CPI-M was very significant as the Shimla Municipal comprises the entire Shimla Assembly constituencies and some areas of Shima (Rural) and Kusumpti constituencies.

With Assembly election just few months away, the election results are alarming bell for both BJP and the Congress.

The poll results clearly indicated that the decision of the BJP government to hold direct elections for the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor did not help the party and resulted in emergence of a third force.

The polling for 25-ward SMC was held on Sunday and 64.08 percent electorate cast their votes.

The BJP made inroads into some traditional strongholds of the Congress and wrested the Krishna Nagar ward from the Congress and also won the Dhalli and Kusumpti wards in the outskirts.

For the first time, 13 out of 25 wards were reserved for women even though the number of women voters was 36,194 compared to 43,762 men voters and only twelve seats were open for men, including two seats for scheduled castes.

The winning BJP candidates include Kala Sharma (Bharari), Saroj Thakur (Ruldu Bhatta), Lakshmi Kaushal (Annandale), Nirmala (Totu), Rajnai Singh (Krishana Nagar), Bharti Sood (Lower Bazar) and Manoj Kuthiala (Jakkoo).

The Congress winners included Usha Lakhanpal (Boilaueganj), Uma Kaushal (Tutikandi), Shashi Sjekhar (Nabha) Sushama Kuthiala (Ram bazar) and Surinder Chauhan (Chhota Shimla). The winning CPI-M candidates included Kanta Syal (Kaithu) and Deepak Thakur (Summerhill).

(Agencies)

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