Haryana will go to polls for 46 municipal bodies on Sunday and the result will be declared on June 22.
While BJP-JJP are contesting on party symbol on a seat-sharing arrangement, all eyes are set on how AAP, which is going solo and making its debut in the Haryana municipal body polls, will perform.
Although AAP contested 46 of the 90 assembly constituencies of Haryana in 2019 Vidhan Sabha polls, but got a crushing defeat.
On most of the seats, the party’s candidates failed to save their security deposits and were rather voted below the 1000 mark. The vote share of AAP in 2019 assembly polls stood around 0.48 per cent while it was 0.53 per cent for NOTA. Before that, AAP had formed an alliance with Dushyant Chautala-led JJP in Haryana for the Lok Sabha polls that were held in April-May 2019 but failed to make any mark. Eventually, both the parties ended their alliance.
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However, riding high on its stupendous victory in Punjab assembly polls where AAP got 92 of the 117 seats, the Municipal body polls shall be the first test for AAP in neighbouring Haryana.
AAP has decided to go solo and its candidates shall be contesting on party symbol. Party sources said that it would also help the party check its cadre-strength and weakpoints at the ground level, especially when Congress is already out of the race. Congress has announced that the party would only support candidates but would not be contesting on the party’s symbol.
The polls are scheduled to be held in 28 municipal committees and 18 municipal councils from 7 am to 6 pm. This time due to likelihood of extreme heat wave, polling time was extended for one hour. If required, the repolling shall be done on June 21.
State Election Commissioner Dhanpat Singh had said, “Elections to the Faridabad Municipal Corporation and three other municipalities will be held later as the revision of the voters’ list was undergoing. Elaborate arrangements have been made for the conduct of free, fair and transparent elections. An adequate police force will be deployed to maintain law and order at polling stations, especially in sensitive and hyper-sensitive areas.”
BJP in its manifesto has primarily made over two dozen promises. These include LED/solar lights on the streets, playing-equipments in parks, new parks, revamping of cremation grounds, vending zones providing vendor licenses to street vendors, new community centres, roads-repair/recarpating, better water supply and sewerage lines, better rain-water drainage system, door-to-door garbage collection, mobile/community toilets, corporation buildings, entry gates, night food streets, regularisation of illegal colonies, simplifying property-tax norms, land-pooling schemes, CCTVs to keep crime rate in check, developing new gaushalas, better marketplaces, taking care of stray-dog menace etc.
While addressing a public rally at Kurukshetra last month, Kejriwal had asked Haryana’s voters to give him a chance promising that he would improve the education system and schools of Haryana, same as he did in Delhi. Former Congress leaders Ashok Tanwar, Nirmal Singh and Chitra Sarwara had also joined AAP ahead of the MC polls.
As per the agreement between BJP and JJP, of the total 18 seats of municipal councils, BJP would contest on 14 while JJP would contest four seats including Narwana, Tohana, Dabwali and Nuh. The decision on election of 28 municipal committees has been left by both the parties on the leaders at the local level.
For BJP and JJP’s candidates, the ongoing protests against the Agnipath policy and the last year’s farmers protests are also likely to pose a tough challenge.
However, leadership of both the parties are confident that their candidates would emerge victorious.
4712 EVMs distributed
“A total of 4712 EVMs have been distributed for municipal councils and municipalities elections. Police have been directed to carry out additional patrolling and put blockades in the election areas. Adequate arrangements for drinking water and toilets have been made at the polling booths”, Dhanpat Singh said.