Punjab’s ruling BJP and Akali Dal combine have scored a landslide win in municipal elections in capital Chandigarh, just ahead of crucial state assembly polls. The allies have won 21 of the 26 seats, while the Congress settled for just four; one seat went to an independent candidate.
Claiming the win was a signal that people approve of notes ban, BJP chief Amit Shah said: “Every election win after November 8 shows that people approve of demonetisation decision.”
In the outgoing house, the BJP-Akali Dal hold 12 seats, the Congress 11 and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party two.
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 for 10 straight years. In the assembly elections it takes on not just traditional rival Congress but also Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party, which hopes to replicate in Punjab its stupendous success in the Delhi elections last year.
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 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.