The Bharatiya Janta Party on Saturday won the Shimla Municipal Corporation elections, The Indian Express reported. However, the saffron party, which won from 17 of the 34 wards, failed to get a majority of 18 members.

Their main opposition, the Congress, which has ruled the city for nearly three decades, won 12 wards. Independent candidates won three, while the Communist Party of India(Marxist) won one. Half the elected candidates are women as 50% of the seats are reserved for them.

Polling was held on Friday as per High Court orders. The ruling Congress party had earlier managed to defer the elections indefinitely. The party had also changed the pattern of the polls, which were not held according to party symbols. The Congress, BJP and CPI(M) – the major contenders – had declared their list of party-backed candidates, reported DNA.

A total of 126 candidates were in the fray, and the city saw a turnout of nearly 52,000 during the civic elections.

Satpal Satti, the BJP state president, said the Congress was trying to create confusion by adding Independents to its tally. “We will form the next corporation,” he said. Independent candidate Rakesh Kumar, who won the Panthaghati ward, is likely to support the BJP, he added.

The CPI(M) had won the Shimla Municipal Corporation’s mayoral and deputy mayoral posts in 2012.