Dharamshala, April 7: The Himachal Pradesh Municipal Elections 2021 were held on Wednesday in Dharamshala, Mandi, Solan and Palampur. These elections are being seen as a litmus test for Chief Minister Jairam Thakur ahead of the Assembly polls next year. The counting of votes began after the voting ended at 4 pm. The congress emerged victorious in Solan and Palampur Nagar Nigam polls, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won Dharamshala and Mandi municipal corporations. Himachal Pradesh Municipal Corporation Election Results 2021 Live Streaming: Watch Live Updates of Civic Poll Counting on News 18 Punjab Haryana Himachal.

In Solan, the Congress won nine wards, the BJP bagged seven seats and one seat was won by an independent candidate. In Palampur Nagar Nigam,  the Congress bagged 11 seats, and the BJP won two.  In Dharamshala, eight saffron party candidates emerged victories, while the Congress won only five seats. Meanwhile, the BJP bagged 12 seats.

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Mandi, Solan and Palampur are the newly-created civic bodies, and the polls are held for the first time in these corporations. Meanwhile, the Dharamshala municipal corporation was created in 2015 when the elections were not held on party symbols. The voting was held following COVID-19 protocols. Dharamshala MC Polls: Anurag Thakur for BJP's Triple Engine Govt.

A total of 279 candidates were in the fray in 64 wards of the four municipal bodies. The direct contest was between the BJP and the Congress candidates. The Aam Aadmi Party also fielded its candidates on 43 out of total 64 wards, whereas the CPI(M) fielded only one candidate in a ward in Mandi.

Eighty candidates were in the fray for 17 wards of Dharamshala, followed by 75 candidates for 15 wards of Mandi, 64 candidates for 15 wards of Palampur and 60 candidates for Solan. The elections were also being simultaneously 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 district.

Cabinet ministers Mahender Singh Thakur, Bikram Singh, Rakesh Pathania, former minister Rajeev Bindal and state BJP chief and Shimla MP Suresh Kashyap also campaigned for party candidates. The campaigning for the Congress was led by state president Kuldeep Singh Rathore and opposition leader Mukesh Agnihotri and other party leaders like Sudhir Sharma, Kaul Singh Thakur, GS Bali and Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 07, 2021 07:07 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).