Shimla: A day after getting a clear majority in two of the four municipal corporation elections, the Himachal Pradesh Congress on Thursday celebrated its victory with its workers dancing on drum beats.
In the results announced on Wednesday for the four municipal corporation polls in the state, the Congress had attained a clear majority in Palampur and Solan while the ruling BJP had emerged as the single largest party in Mandi and Dharamshala.
State Congress president Kuldeep Singh Rathore said the Congress would have won all the four municipal corporation polls, "had the ruling BJP not used money power and misused government machinery in the last 36 hours".
On the other hand, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said the BJP secured a majority in Dharamshala by getting the support of three of the four independent councillors.
The BJP won eight out of a total of 17 wards in Dharamshala and was short of one seat for a clear majority. The Congress got five and the independents four seats in Dharamshala municipal polls.
Thakur said the BJP has now secured a majority in Dharamshala and Mandi municipal corporation polls.
The chief minister said the current BJP government created three new municipal corporations of Solan, Mandi and Palampur for planned development in these areas.
He said the MC polls were fought on local issues which had nothing to do with the policies of the state and the central governments.
Thakur said these municipal polls should not be considered as a semi-final to the next assembly elections in 2022.
Fatehpur assembly and Mandi parliamentary bypolls besides the Shimla municipal corporation elections too are to be held before the next assembly elections, he pointed out.
The BJP got a clear majority in CM Jai Ram Thakur's home district Mandi by securing victory in 11 out of a total of 15 wards. The Congress got just four seats in Mandi.
In Palampur, the Congress won 11 out of a total of 15 wards, while the BJP and the independents got two seats each.
In a close contest in Solan, the Congress won nine out of 17 wards while the BJP got seven seats and an independent candidate won one seat.
The elections for the four civic bodies were held on the party symbols this time.
Elections were also held in six newly-created Nagar panchayats -- Chirgaon and Nerwa in Shimla district, Ani and Nirmand in Kullu district, Kandaghat in Solan and Amb in Una districts.
They were, however, not conducted on party symbols.
Interestingly the CM claimed that BJP won five out of the six Nagar panchayats, while the state Congress chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore claimed his party's victory in the three Nagar panchayats.