In what corroborates the continuing popularity of the BJP and the incumbent government, the BJP has clean swept mayoral elections in five cities in Haryana. Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar held a press conference after the BJP registered huge and impressive victories and said, “This win in mayoral elections is a win of the government’s policies and the party’s hard work, especially in Panipat where our candidate won by a massive margin.” It is clear that the BJP has been rewarded for its developmental policies and this corroborates that the BJP remains popular among the people of the state.
The BJP candidates won from all the cities where elections were held, the cities include, Hisar, Karnal, Panipat, Rohtak, and Yamunanagar. Although the Congress did not contest the polls, some Congress leaders backed independent candidates. The INLD-BSP combine contested some of the seats and also supported a few of the independents. However, the combine faced a drubbing at the hands of the BJP.
It is for the first time that the Mayors of the five cities have been elected directly. Till now, they were elected by the councilors. Therefore, the state seems to have moved towards a more direct and democratic system of representation and the BJP has been able to register a thumping victory in the first of polls of this kind. Another unique feature of the Mayoral elections was the fact that this time around the Haryana Election Commission decided to treat the NOTA (none of the above) option as a “fictional candidate”. Under this, it becomes mandatory for the winning candidate to grab more votes than NOTA.
The BJP has won in all the municipal corporations by an impressive margin. BJP candidate Gautam Sardana won from Hisar got 68,196 votes and defeated Rekha Aren with a margin of 28,091 votes. In Yamunanagar, Madan Singh Chouhan from the BJP registered 91,642 votes and defeated Congress-backed Rakesh Kumar Sharma with a margin of 40,678 votes. BJP candidate Avneet Kaur won from Panipat with a massive margin of 74,940 votes. Kaur garnered a mind-boggling 1,26,321 votes as against Congress-backed candidate Anshu Pahwa who could only manage 51,381 votes. In Karnal, BJP candidate Renu Bala Gupta defeated the INLD-BSP coalition candidate Asha Wadhwa with a margin of 9,348 votes. The BJP won in Rohtak too where BJP candidate Manmohan Goyal defeated Congress-backed candidate Sita Ram Sachdeva with a margin of 14,776 votes.
It is clear that the BJP clean swept the mayoral elections with a clear, decisive and impressive margin in all the municipal corporations. This would have definitely come as a shot in the arm for the Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar. The people of Haryana have clearly shown their support for the BJP in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and this would come as a major motivation for the party cadres in the state. The news traders and political commentators meanwhile seem to have gone into hibernation. This victory in Haryana could not have come at a better time for the BJP which can now capitalise on the momentum that it has got in the state for its 2019 polls campaign.