- Ruling Akali Dal-BJP wins 21 of 26 seats in Chandigarh municipal polls
- Congress wins 4 seats, independent candidate wins the remaining 1
- Every win after November 8 shows people approve cash ban: Amit Shah
Punjab's ruling BJP-Akali Dal alliance has 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 - the BJP taking 20, Akali Dal one - while the Congress has had to settle for just four. One seat has been won by an independent candidate. BJP chief Amit Shah has thanked the people of Chandigarh and said that every recent election victory of the party shows that people "approve of the demonetisation decision."
The BJP has made major gains - it held 10 seats in the outgoing house and ally Akali Dal had two. The Congress had 11 seats 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, which launched massive celebrations in Chandigarh even as results rolled in, and the party's MP from city, Kirron Kher, said, "Demonetisation has not affected the polls, there were problems but our people are very understanding."
Party chief Amit Shah said,"After demonetisation was announced five states have had municipal polls, and people have approved of the BJP. Every single poll that has taken place after November 8 and where the BJP has won, people have accepted the move."
The opposition, led by the Congress, has declared war on the government over the notes ban, alleging that the massive cash crunch that has followed punishes the poor rather than the corrupt.
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".
BJP Municipal Election Results: The Final Tally