In a boost for the BJP in Haryana just after it lost assembly polls in three states, the mayoral candidates of the ruling party won in all five towns of Haryana. Assembly elections are due in Haryana in October 2019.
Mayor’s posts went to the BJP in Karnal, Rohtak, Hisar, Panipat and Yamunanagar. It is for the first time when direct mayoral polls were held in Haryana. Karnal is home town of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar where BJP candidate Renu Bala Gupta won the poll battle by a margin of 9,348 votes after defeating opposition backed independent Asha Wadhwa for mayoral candidate.
Here, Congress as well the INLD-BSP had supported Wadhwa in an attempt to take on Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, prompting him to launch intense campaign in his home town.
“Despite the unity shown by all opposition parties in Karnal, people rejected them and have put a stamp of approval on the policies of the present state government,” said Khattar on Wednesday.
In Rohtak, which is home town of former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, BJP candidate Manmohan Goyal won the election by defeating Congress-backed Sita Ram Sachdeva by a margin of 14,776 votes.
BJP candidate Gautam Sardana was declared victorious in Hisar which is home town of former Chief Minister, late Bhajan Lal. Sardana defeated his nearest Congress-backed rival, Rekha Aren, by a margin of 28,091 votes. Rekha lost the poll battle despite support by Bhajan Lal’s son and Congress leader Kuldeep Bishnoi and former minister Savitri Jindal.
However, biggest margin for BJP mayoral candidate came from Panipat where its nominee Avneet Kaur won the poll battle by a margin of 74,940 by defeating the nearest rival Anshu Pahwa. Kaur is the daughter of former Mayor of the local civic body, Bhupinder Singh. In Yamunanagar, BJP’s Madan Chahuan won the poll battle.
While expressing happiness over the victory of mayoral candidates of BJP, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said: “By giving a mandate in favour of the BJP, the people of the state have put their stamp on the welfare policies of the present state government.”
He added: “We are enthusiastic with the poll results and hope that people of the state would continue supporting us in the similar fashion and ensure BJP victory in the forthcoming Jind bypoll, Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections slated to be held in 2019.”
However, former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that winning of MC polls for ruling BJP “is not a big deal”. Hooda said that he doesn’t think that these will influence the results of Vidhan and Lok Sabha polls. Speaking to mediapersons in New Delhi, Hooda said, “ EVM abhi shak ke dayare se bahar nahi hai (EVM machines are not beyond doubt so far)”. The MC elections, which were held on Sunday in Haryana towns, were held by using EVMs. Hooda has been demanding use of ballot papers for elections. On Wednesday, he said that BJP mayoral candidates recorded win in those wards in Rohtak and Panipat where Congress supported councillors won the poll battle. “Something was fishy in the mayoral polls.”
However, Khattar advocated the use of EVMs in the elections saying that it was the best and transparent system of voting. “Though the leaders of opposition parties point fingers at the working of EVMs time and again, none of them could find any flaw in its functioning so far,” he said