Uttarakhand civic body polls: Over 60% polling recorded, counting on November 20

Polling is being held in 84 urban local bodies across Uttarakhand and the votes will be counted on November 20.

Uttarakhand civic body polls: Over 60% polling recorded, counting on November 20
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DEHRADUN: Over 60 per cent votes were cast in the urban local body polls in Uttarakhand on Sunday to seal the fate of 4,978 candidates. Polling was held in 84 urban local bodies (ULB) across Uttarakhand amid tight security on Sunday. The votes will be counted on November 20.

As per the state election commission office, polling was held peacefully in all 84 urban bodies, including seven municipal corporations, 39 municipal councils and 38 nagar panchayats. Repolling was held at ward no 106, 107 and 108 of Udhampur Singh Nagar district on Monday as polling had to be stopped due to technical snag.

There are 23.53 lakh voters in the state out of which 12.20 lakh are male and 11.33 lakh female.

State's Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat cast his vote for the urban local body elections in Dehradun, as per ANI. He thanked the people of the state for their "enthusiastic" participation in the elections.

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev too cast his vote for the local body elections in Haridwar.

The State Election Commission had last month announced that elections for 84 urban local bodies (ULB) in Uttarakhand would be held on November 18. After the poll panel issued notification, the Model Code of Conduct had come into force in the BJP-ruled.

In the state, 1258 centres, 2265 polling stations, 107 zones, and 282 sectors had been created for voting. Besides this, 52 Strong Rooms have also been made where ballot boxes will be kept under tight security.

Polling was held in 1064 wards for the mayoral seats across the Himalayan state. 

For the first time, Rishikesh and Kotdwar are witnessing mayoral polls.

In the wake of urban local body polls, security was heightened across the state. Around 10,000 police personnel, 4,000 home guards, 2,000 PRD jawans and 25 companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) have been deployed in cities and towns.

This election could be seen as a fight for dominance between the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress in the hilly state. 

Seeking people’s mandate for the first time after coming to power in Uttarakhand with a massive win in the assembly elections, the BJP faces a tough challenge of matching its own performance in today's urban local bodies polls. 

The BJP had won 57 out of a total of 70 assembly seats in the state in March last year to storm to power. Political observers feel that the urban local body election is going to be a high-stakes battle for the ruling party as it has to match its own impressive performance of the assembly elections last year.

The forthcoming polls will examine whether or not the BJP in the past one-and-a-half years of rule has been able to deliver even partially on the expectations of people which are naturally high in the wake of a huge victory in the assembly polls, a political analyst based in the city said.

“It will show how much credibility the state government’s much-vaunted policy of zero tolerance to corruption and emphasis on development enjoy in the eyes of people,” he said. 

That it is going to be a prestige battle for the BJP is also reflected by the fact that the party has entrusted senior leaders and cabinet ministers with the poll management of municipal corporations. While Cabinet minister Yashpal Arya and state BJP vice President Raju Bhandari have been entrusted with the poll management of Haldwani municipal corporation, Cabinet minister Prakash Pant and senior party leader Ashish Gupta have been assigned with Rudrapur.

Minister of State Dhan Singh Rawat and Pradesh BJP general secretary Naresh Bansal have been entrusted with Dehradun municipal corporation, Cabinet minister Subodh Uniyal and state BJP vice President Vinay Ruhela have been assigned Rishikesh. Apart from the BJP’s central leaders, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, his cabinet colleagues, four former chief ministers, MPs and senior leaders will campaign for the party candidates, state BJP media head Devendra Bhasin said.

State BJP president Ajay Bhatt said, “People are happy with our government’s work both in the state and at the centre, and they are going to repose their faith in us once again.”