One of Indias oldest municipal corporation,which went to the polls on Sunday to elect its new mayor,deputy Mayor and 25 councillors,recorded a voter turnout of about 64 per cent. The elections were a a three-way fight between CPM,Congress and BJP.
The counting of the votes will be held at deputy Commissioners officer on Monday from 8 am. The final results are expected to be declared by noon, said Shimla Deputy Commissioner Munish Garg,who is also the returning officer for the poll.
The highest percentage (74.71 per cent) of polling was recorded at Tutikandi a peripheral ward having a significant concentration of CPM supporter while the lowest of 50.83 per cent was recorded at Tutu. Nabha recorded a voter turnout of 71.98 per cent while Summerhill,another CPM stronghold,recorded a 70.67 per cent turnout.
This is the first instance where the Mayor and Deputy Mayor will be directly chosen by the electorate. The new system replaces the concept of councillors electing the mayor – a process often corrupted by extraneous considerations.
While BJP fielded a new face S S Minhas,a city surgeon and former head of department of surgery at Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC),Congress trusted incumbent mayor Madhu Sood. The CPM fielded Sanjay Chauhan. There were also three new entrants for the deputy mayors post.
The CPM has been looking for gains in periphery wards,We are happy having made effective interventions in some areas and the results could be a surprise for many, said Tikender Singh Panwar,CPMs contender for the deputy Mayors post.
Every voter cast three votes one each for Mayor,deputy Mayor and ward councillor. More than 40,000 voters who were registered in the town despite having their votes in upper-Shimla belt were eliminated from the list this time. This decision brought down the number of voters in Shimla to 81,000 against 1.32 lakh in the previous elections in 2007. However the polling percentage was recorded at 85 per cent in 2007.
There were 95 candidates in the fray of which seven were for the post of mayor,two of them women.