Chandigarh: In a big boost for the BJP and its ally SAD, Punjab's ruling alliance on Tuesday scored a landslide victory in municipal elections in capital Chandigarh, which comes just a few weeks ahead of crucial state assembly polls.
According to reports, the ruling BJP-SAD combine won 21 of the 26 seats, while the Congress settled for just four; one seat went to an independent candidate.
In the outgoing house, the BJP-Akali Dal held 12 seats, the Congress 11 and Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party two. Here's how the victory in municipal polls will benefit BJP, SAD in upcoming assembly polls in Punjab.
-Today's win is a big boost for the ruling combine, which is battling an anti-incumbency factor in the assembly elections after having ruled the state for 10 straight years.
-In the assembly elections, BJP-SAD combine will contest against their traditional rival Congress and Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party, which hopes to replicate its Delhi show in Punjab elections next year.
-The BJP, which is now celebrating the party's victory in municipal polls, surely has reasons to cheer as it sees the mandate as a big thumbs up for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation move. The party has been tight-lipped over municipal poll outcome after the ban on 500 and 1,000-rupee notes aimed at eliminating corruption and black or undeclared money. The Opposition, led by the Congress, has declared war on the government over the notes ban, alleging that the massive cash crunch that has followed punishes the poor rather than the corrupt.
-The results are a setback for Congress, which had made demonetisation a major issue in the polls, with its city unit leaders saying the move was implemented without any ‘application of mind’ and had put the public to ‘great hardships’.
-Reacting to the results, Kirron Kher, BJP MP from Chandigarh, said, "Demonetisation has not affected the polls, there were problems but our people are very understanding."
-The BJP has, however, held that people support the move against corruption despite the hardships they have had to face as they recognise that it is "short-term" inconvenience for "long-term gain".
-The victory in Chandigarh comes after the BJP recently made significant gains in civic elections in Maharashtra and Gujarat and credited those successes to the PM Modi's battle against corruption with the notes ban.