Shimla Municipal Corporation Elections: CPM  the King Maker

 The left front and CPI(M) always remained the King Maker in the civic, state and national elections forcing big Political outfits to tread with caution and not undermine their limited strength in the Shimla Municipal Corporation Election.

Party produced a number of leaders who may have little political significance but well-knitted mass leaders having unparallel organisational skills. 

In wake of the Shimla Municipal Corporation poll, Political Pandits predicted that although all small and big elections are interesting but ongoing SMC poll hold special significance owing to CPM’s presence here as the outfit has launched a number of successful mass movement from Shimla.

They say that CPM poses challenges for both the main political parties of the state as the margin of victory depends on the intensity of the slogan of “Lal Salaam ” and the party campaign which is always shriller and astounding to them. 

Yes, the third most serious Election outfit in the SMC poll is CPI(M), Political Pandit states that the nursery of CPI(m) is enriching both main parties as including MLAs and counsellors are being elected from BJP and Congress.

In this election, many of them belong to SFI and AIDWA has great demand owing to its affiliations to various left-frontal organizations including students, women, trade unions etc.

Senior Journalist Mahinder Pratap Rana said that this election is also interesting for the public and for the political parties due to neck to neck fight for all the 34 wards. 

It was fear of defeat to the opposition BJP to defer the SMC poll under the guise of delimitation as it being delayed by eight months of its scheduled time in June 2022.

“Now it has increased the heartbeat of both the parties as they are not sure of their victory and much rest on the entry of kingmaker CPM in the fray which is considered a significant force in Shimla city. ” Mr Rana said.

CPM candidates may not win but they have the potential to disturb the equation for political candidates of either side as party organisation always remained with the people of the town in their hard times would play a significant role.  

Currently, both political parties are busy in brainstorming sessions and would have to sail through troubled waters before the plunge into municipal elections.  

BJP was being blamed by the ruling Congress to skip the Shimla MC poll to not hold it in the scheduled time before Assembly Election now also facing factionalism, infighting and undercutting. 

Changing the composition of a number of wards and shuffling the electorate BJP has increased the number of Shimla MC wards from 34 to 41  however Congress party after assuming power in the states denotified the number of wards from 41 to 34  washing away the old lines of the wards against the interest of BJP.

Cong. & CPM former counsellor has challenged the delimitation of Shimla MC in the High Court but as the new government denotified the creation of seven new wards also forced BJP to challenge it in Himachal Pradesh High Court but didn’t get a stay.

Now before nomination, both BJP and Congress are deeply involved to meditate deeply to face emerging challenges to overcome defeat in the electoral battle.

 The top brass of political parties are also analysing equations of increases or decreases inward boundaries of Municipal Corporations to ensure their victory. 

Mr Ransla said that even if there is a possibility of not winning some wards both parties are doing hard work to control damage by putting consensus candidates close to both factions. 

He said that they could mend their strategy to win Election, but CPM always confuses confusing their math in almost every election.  

In the first election of Shimla Municipal Corporation in 1986, a Congress-supported counsellor won 9 seats in 21 wards, BJP 8 and Left Front 4, in which two CPM and two Lok Dal candidates won. 

Only one woman won in the house of these 21 members and according to the rules, if there is only one woman in the house, the government had the right to appoint another woman. The then Congress government appointed a woman with voting rights, increasing the number of Congress-backed members to 10.  

Mayor and Deputy Mayor were elected, two members of CPM boycotted the election and 2 members of Lok Dal supported BJP, the election for mayor was tied on 10-10 votes.  The coin was tossed which fell in favour of Congress and Shimla Municipal Corporation got its first mayor after independence, Adarsh ​​Sood.  

The second election of the corporation was to be held in 1991 but the BJP government postponed it for one year.  Even after this, the Shanta Kumar government was reluctant to hold elections, but people went to the court and the court gave instructions to conduct elections to the Shimla Municipal Corporation. Congress won the election. 

 Why Shanta Kumar did not want the municipal elections to be held, came to know when Adarsh ​​Sood of the Congress became the mayor.  

Shanta had given Shimla Municipal Corporation’s valuable property “Karagnaino” of the amusement park to BJP worker Piyush Goyal, who is currently a minister in the Government of India, at a throwaway price, which was later taken back by the Municipal Corporation by filing a case in the High Court.  

  In the 1997 elections, Congress won 23 out of 25 seats and BJP won two seats in the Municipal Corporation. Due to this historic victory of Congress, an attempt was made to create such a political atmosphere in the state that it could affect the 1998 assembly but it did not happen. 

 In 2012, the then BJP government decided to conduct the direct election of the mayor and deputy mayor to win the municipal elections, in which CPM won, BJP once again failed to capture Shimla Municipal Corporation. 

 In the 2017 elections, the Congress government included some new areas adjacent to the Municipal Corporation in the Municipal Corporation to win the Municipal Corporation and increased the number of wards, but the BJP broke an independent and a Congress member and made its mayor for the first time.  

 In the municipal elections of 2022-23, first the BJP and now the Congress have created a game of dividing the wards and making their numbers and boundaries as per the convenience of their victory in order to win the elections. 

 Now it remains to be seen whether the CPM is once again able to confuse the game of these two parties or not. CPM has made 55 members Election Committee under the leadership of former Mayor Sanjay Chauhan.

Rajiv Thakur who is two times CPI(M) counsellor from Summer Hill bastion of the left front was the one of party strongholds as Mr Thakur is in the fray for his fourth tenure. 

Interestingly Opposition BJP has given tickets to Former CPI(M) counsellor Shelly Thakur who joined BJP last year. Mr Rajiv Thakur who is also popular as Tinu is locked in a triangular battle this time.

Sangti, Krishnanagar, Totu and Ruldubhata are other wards where the party decided to put the candidates

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *