The Congress party on Thursday wrested the Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC), one of the country’s oldest municipalities, from the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) as it registered a thumping victory by winning 24 seats in the 34-member civic body.
The election for Shimla Municipal Corporation was held on May 2, and the poll result was declared on Thursday, according to which the Congress won 24 seats (wards) while the BJP won nine seats. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) won one. seat. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which fielded 21 candidates, failed to even open its account.
The civic body election was being keenly watched as the prestige of Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu was at stake - given it was the first key election since the Congress party came to power in Himachal Pradesh after winning the 2022 Assembly polls. The Congress has come to power in the Municipal Corporation after a gap of ten years.
The Congress’s election campaign was led by the Chief Minister himself, who had twice remained a councilor from one of the wards during the early days of his political career. In political circles, one of the key reasons behind the resounding win by the Congress party is being attributed to the ‘performance’ of the four-month-old Congress government in the State, apart from the ‘anti-incumbency’ against the outgoing BJP-led body. The result for the Congress is also significant ahead of the parliamentary polls, due in 2024.
“The people have shown faith and trust in our government’s work. Immediately after coming to power, we restored the old pension scheme (OPS) for government employees and also decided to pay a monthly pension to 2.31 lakh women,” Mr. Sukhu said.