After a dismal performance in the first two phases of the civic body polls, the Congress party has its hopes tied on the final leg of the elections as 10 civic bodies in Madhya Pradesh went to polls on Wednesday.
Earlier, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had routed the Congress to win all 14 municipal corporations in the state, adding to the pressure on the Congress to perform better in the face-saving final round.
Polling at 10 civic bodies, including the important constituencies of Ujjain and Morena, were held on Wednesday. The counting would be done on August 16.
Despite an early setback and having an overall poor record in the state, Congress leaders have expressed confidence in the ongoing civic body polls. “We have ground reports that suggest that we are going to win at several places,” Congress party chief spokesperson KK Mishra said.
Sources say party leaders are hoping to win in the crucial Vidisha constituency, which is considered chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s home turf and a loss here would definitely be a jolt to the ruling BJP.
Earlier, in the first leg of the municipal polls in December 2014, the Congress had lost all nine municipal corporations and also in Katni. The BJP’s clean sweep continued in the second round held in early 2015 as it won the remaining four cities Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur and Chhindwara too.
Urban body polls pass off smoothly
Meanwhile, voting in 11 urban bodies across the state passed off peacefully with only minor incidents of stone-pelting in Ujjain marring the process. Electronic voting machines (EVM) had to be changed due to malfunction at two places, while elections at a ward in Morena had to be rescheduled for August 14.
GP Shrivastava, secretary, state election commission, said that average polling of 75% was recorded in the 11 urban bodies where the elections were held on Wednesday. This figure could witness an upward revision as reports were still coming in from districts at the time of writing of this report.
Elections were held at municipal corporations at Morena and Ujjain, municipalities in Vidisha and Sarangpur, and Ghuwara, Lanji, Chaakghat, Suvasara and Kotar Nagar Palika Parishad, apart from by-elections for the post of the president of municipalities in Harda and Bhainsdehi Nagar Palika Parishad.
Counting for all the 11 urban bodies will be held on August 16.