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Explained: What Haryana municipal election results mean for BJP, Congress and AAP

Haryana municipal election results explained: What do these results mean for all major political players in the state?

Written by Sukhbir Siwach , Edited by Explained Desk | Chandigarh |
Updated: June 23, 2022 10:22:36 am
Voters at Meham on Sunday. (Express photo by Manoj Dhaka)

As poll results for Haryana’s 46 municipalities rolled in Wednesday, BJP scored a clear edge over its opponents by winning 22 civic bodies, while its ally JJP managed to win three. The lion’s share of the remaining local bodies went to the Congress, with debutant AAP managing just one. What do these results mean for all major political players in the state?

Has BJP regained lost ground in Haryana post the farmers’ protest?

Municipal polls do not reflect the mood of rural voters. But with several people with rural background residing in small towns and several others being dependent on the farm economy, the results do indicate that the BJP is shaking off the political damage it endured during the farmers’ agitation. Interestingly, the BJP had lost both bypolls – Baroda (won by Congress) and Ellenabad (won by INLD) – that were held during the farmers’ agitation.

Did delay in conducting these elections help the ruling alliance?

The local body polls were delayed for months due to court cases and other technical reasons. The opposition, however, blamed the delay on the ruling party’s political designs. Had these elections been held as per schedule during the farmers’ protest, BJP-JJP would have found it difficult to even hit the campaign trail amid mounting opposition at the grassroots level. Further, BJP’s recent Assembly poll wins, particularly in Uttar Pradesh, helped boost morale of party cadre in the state, which took the battle to the opposition with renewed vigour.

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Haryana election results: Did infighting hurt the Congress?

Thanks to the never-ending squabbles in the state unit, the Congress has not been able to boost its organisational structure at the local level in Haryana. With infighting between state stalwarts intensifying in recent months, the Congress did not contest these polls on party symbol. Further, senior Congress leaders did not campaign for party-backed candidates. While former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda got a virtual free-hand in running state’s affairs, the most recent revolt came during Rajya Sabha polls by Kuldeep Bishnoi who voted against the party. But despite all this, the party now claims that 19 Independents that have won in civic polls were backed by it.

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What do these results mean for AAP and its prospects in Haryana?

The AAP has succeeded in opening its account by winning a small municipality (Ismailabad) in Kaithal district. AAP had expected an impressive performance here especially after stunning victory in neighbouring Punjab in the Assembly polls. But it could not perform on expected lines even when Congress was not in the battlefield actively.

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Political analysts believe that the results show that the party will not find it as easy as Punjab or Delhi while trying to expand its base in the state.

However, by fighting on party symbol, AAP has ensured that it has dedicated volunteers on the ground for future contests.

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First published on: 22-06-2022 at 09:55:19 pm
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