In a major blow to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), 15 candidates out of 18 in fray in the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation forfeited their deposits.
As per the norms of Election Commission of India, if a contestant polled one-sixth or less of the total votes polled, the security deposit is forfeited. The party lost on all the seats and a total of 11 candidates got less than 1000 votes.
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Not only that, the party suffered a dip of over 7 per cent in its vote share in this MC elections as compared with its performance in 2011.
In last election, the party had managed to two seats with vote share of 12.35%.
Party candidate Poonam from ward number 6 (Dadu Majra Colony and Shahpur) managed to save his deposit by getting 2300 votes out of 10419 total votes polled. Parvesh Devi from ward number 5 (Sector 25 Kumhar Colony, Janta Colony and LIG Colony Dhanas) secured 2033 votes out of 12146 votes polled to save deposit.
In two wards, the number of votes secured by party candidates was even less than none of the above (NOTA) option.
Jaspal Singh, who was contesting from ward number 22 (Industrial Area, Sector 31, 47 and 48) got only 66 votes, second lowest by any candidate in this elections. As many as 93 people opted for NOTA from this ward, while in ward number 14 (Sector 45 and Burail) the party candidate Naresh Kumar Chalia finished last with 137 votes. A total of 142 people opted for NOTA from ward number 14.
In run-up to the elections, the party faced infighting over ticket distribution. Former councilor and senior party leader Jannat Jahan was not given ticket, while two of their candidates withdrew their nomination in support of Congress leaders.
Talking to Chandigarh Newsline, Jannat Jahan held wrong ticket distribution as the main reasons for the poor performance of the party. “The tickets were not distributed on the basis of winnability and it cost us dear,” said Jannat. “Had I contested the elections, party would have won atleast two-three seats,” she said.
Defending ticket distribution, Jagir Singh, party president, said that the party had decided to give ticket only to people who have been associated with the party from long. “Earlier, people from outside with money were given tickets, which was not the right thing to do,” said Jagir Singh.