“It’s not a good sign for us in Haryana,” says a senior Haryana BJP leader while referring to the results of elections to zila parishad – which is part of panchayat bodies – declared Sunday.
In the polls for Haryana’s 46 municipalities too, a few months ago, ruling BJP had succeeded in maintaining a clear edge on its opponents. However, results of panchayat polls are not less than a shocker for BJP in Haryana. A section of party leaders sees it as a sign of “anti-incumbancy” with the party in power for the past eight years. The results are more significant as nearly 65% of the population lives in rural areas of the state. The results of Panchkula are more shocking for the party leadership as here it has lost all 10 seats it contested on the party symbol. It happened despite the close proximity of its areas to the state capital – Chandigarh. Out of over 400 zila parishad wards, the BJP contested 102 seats on the party symbol. But it could take home only 22. However, the saffron party leaders claim that in the remaining seats – where the BJP did not contest on the party symbol – as many as 151 winners are those who were backed by the party. “The results have proved that the base of BJP has further improved in Haryana’s rural areas,” claims Haryana BJP president Om Prakash Dhankar.
However, there are not many who buy this argument, especially when it performed badly on those seats where its candidates contested on party symbol. Normally, in such scenarios, political parties field their candidates on party symbols for only those constituencies which are their best bet.