Heavy polling in Shimla MC elections despite bad weather, Poll pandits predict voters’ mood change

Heavy Polling of above 60 percent in Shimla MC predicts the mood for change as the fate of 102 candidates is sealed in the EVM machine here on Tuesday.

The counting of votes would be held on May 4 but the preliminary assessment made by the state and central agencies rings danger bells for BJP.

There is a direct contest in 10 wards and a triangular contest in 16 seats. In four wards where CPI( M) candidates are in the fray, BJP is likely to gain in two.

The BJP is trying to claim the retaining of Shimla MC but it is already locked in tough fights in 26 wards, where BJP is likely to face stiff competition. TCongress is in power and Employees and pensioners dominating MC give a strong edge to the ruling party in the state.

Previous Shimla MC house had 17 councilors of BJP, 12 of Congress, one CPI(M), and Independent 4. BJP was in power in 2017 and Prime Minister addressed a party rally on Ridge ground.

If we believe the figures of state agencies it says that Congress is likely to touch 18 to 20, BJP ten to 12, CPI(M)  two, and AAP and Independent one to two.

However, Central Agencies and BJP internal survey predict a grim picture. BJP fights to recover lost ground in the mid of poll campaign for Shimla MC by shuffling the party president.

BJP campaign was the best among all parties as it tried to woo voters till the last minute by turning to voters in aspirational appeal and offensive canvassing.

The Congress campaign was mainly led by Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri, party Chief Pratibha Singh and her son Vikramaditya Singh. Congress showed a united face despite having differences and factions.

In 12 wards of Shimla MC falls in Kasumpti Assembly Constituency Congress was on strong foot as the party likely to gain nine seats and BJP is strong in Urban Shimla Constituency where it would get more than ten to 11 seats the core vote banks of BJP.

In Rural Shimla Assembly Constituency. Vikramaditya Singh led the party campaign again after winning Assembly Election from here and he is the public works Minister and party workers would support him. There are five to six wards where Congress may impact the voters and turnout may be in its favor.

In the 2017 Shimla MC poll total percentage of polling was 57.8 pc. Despite inclement weather conditions higher polling compared to 2017 which is above 61 pc in some wards is a green signal for the ruling Congress however low turnout would be expected to dent BJP.

BJP star campaigner and party chief Rajiv Bindal couldn’t help the party in the Solan MC poll, Arki bye-election, and Jubbal Kotkhai Assembly Election, and the recent Assembly Election in 2022. 

The charisma of leadership would not help the BJP and central agencies belonging to the Modi government have projected ten or less than ten seats for the party and 22 to 24 seats for Congress.

However, it is worthwhile to mention that the BJP’s wrong choice of candidate and setting aside delimitation from 41 wards to 34 may also spell doom for the BJP.

The BJP was trying to delay the Shimla MC Election and it had challenged the cancellation of the delimitation of wards in the Himachal Pradesh High Court. This show that there was a clear edge to Congress Owing to being in power for the next five years in the state.

Some of the rebels in the fray like Engineghar and deep friction among former MLA of the party and BJP candidate from Shimla urban Mr Sanjay Sood also shows that the party could not consolidate the organizations.

Visits in some of the wards also show that new light and youth leaders were not on the booth. 

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