Shimla, May 27: The Shimla Municipal Corporation, one of India’s oldest civic bodies, saw 64.08 percent polling Sunday, an official said here. The Congress and the BJP are locked in a direct contest in most of the wards.
“The elections in the 25 wards concluded peacefully. The maximum turnout was in Tutikandi (74.71 percent) and lowest in Tutu (50.83 percent) ward,” an election official told IANS. A total of 51,235 voters cast their ballots.
The mayor and the deputy mayor are being elected directly by voters for the first time. The polls saw 64.08 percent voters casting their votes.
Voting began on a dull note, with below 13 percent polling in the two hours and by 11 a.m., rose to 25 percent. It picked up gradually as the day progressed.
Women turned out in strength in most of the wards. There were 79,956 electorates, including 36,194 women.
Eighty-three candidates were in the fray from 25 wards, besides 12 candidates for the posts of mayor and deputy mayor.
At present, the Congress has the highest number of 15 members in the corporation, the BJP eight and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) two.
The Congress has controlled the corporation for the past 25 years.
Political observers said the main contest is between the Congress and the BJP on the wards. But for the posts of mayor and deputy mayor the contest is triangular – among the Congress, the BJP and the CPI-M.
For the post of mayor the candidates were Madhu Sood (Congress), S.S.Minhas (BJP) and Sanjay Chauhan (CPI-M), while for deputy mayor, Devinder Chauhan (Congress), Digvjay Singh Chauhan (BJP) and Tikender Panwar (CPI-M) were in the fray. The votes will be counted Monday.