Dehradun: The campaigning for the Uttarakhand civic body polls ended on Friday. Candidates from all the political parties were seen engaging with the voters as they went door-to-door campaigning.

The polls are important for both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress. While BJP faces the challenge matching its own impressive performance in the assembly elections last year in which it had won 57 of 70 seats to sweep to power, it is significant for the Congress as the verdict may serve as a pointer to what lies in store for the party in 2019.

Voting in the state is scheduled to be held for 84 urban bodies, including seven municipal corporations, 39 municipal councils and 38 Nagar panchayats in a single phase on November 18.

Meanwhile, BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi landed in a controversy today for distributing money among women in alleged violation of the model code of conduct. The leader later sought to justify his action saying he was only following an age-old religious practice.

Clarifying his stand on a video clip of him distributing Rs 100 notes among women during Chhath celebrations in his constituency, which went viral on the social media, Joshi said he was just following the traditional age-old custom.

Joshi said, “You must have noticed in the video that I am handing notes only to women who apply ‘tika’ on my forehead, not to all those present there. Brothers do give money or a gift to their sisters when they apply ‘tika’ on their foreheads. It is an age-old practice. What is wrong in it?”