In what can only be termed as a disappointment, the ruling BJP-JJP combine in Haryana won only one of three mayoral seats for which elections were held. The elections for Mayor were held in the cities of Ambala, Panchkula, and Sonipat on Sunday.
The Congress and the Haryana Jan Chetna Party (HJCP) won the mayoral posts in Sonipat and Ambala while the BJP won the Panchkula seat narrowly.
It was for the first time that direct elections were held for mayoral posts in the three cities.
HJCP’s Shakti Rani Sharma, wife of former Union minister Venod Sharma surprisingly secured the post of mayor in Ambala defeating Vandana Sharma of the BJP by a margin of 8,084 votes.
This is the first win for the Venod Sharma-led party after the 2014 Haryana assembly poll debacle.
Congress’ Nikhil Madaan defeated BJP’s Lalit Batra by 13,818 votes to win the Sonipat mayoral polls.
Kulbushan Goyal of the BJP will be Panchkula’s new mayor. He defeated Congress’ Upinder Kaur Ahluwalia by 2,057 votes.
The elections were also held for members of all the wards municipal corporations (MCs) of Ambala, Panchkula and Sonepat, president and members of the municipal council of Rewari, and municipal committees of Sampla (Rohtak), Dharuhera (Rewari) and Uklana (Hisar).
It is to be noted that all three MCs have 20 wards each, while the Rewari council has 31 wards, and committees of Sampla, Dharuhera, and Uklana have 15, 17, and 13 wards each, respectively.
In the Ambala MC polls, the BJP won eight of the 20 seats, HJCP 7, Congress 3 and Haryana Democratic Front 2.
In Sonipat, the BJP won 10 wards and the Congress 9. On one seat, an Independent emerged victorious.
In Panchkula, the BJP and the Congress won nine and seven seats, respectively. The JJP won two.
The post of the Rewari municipal council chairperson was bagged by BJP’s Poonam Yadav, who defeated Independent candidate Upma Yadav by 2,087 votes. The Congress slipped to the third spot here.
In three municipal committees of Dharuhera, Sampla and Uklana, BJP-JJP combine failed to bag posts of president, which were won by independents.
The setback for the ruling coalition has come in the wake of the BJP winning mayors polls in five Haryana cities two years ago. In 2018, the party had won mayoral polls in Hisar, Karnal, Panipat, Rohtak and Yamunanagar.