As counting for the district and taluka (block) panchayats in municipalities is still underway, the BJP has made a clean sweep as per the leads and results declared so far.
The BJP has won 1,967 seats in nagar palika elections, Congress 356 while AAP has bagged nine seats.
In the district panchayat elections, BJP won 735 panchayats seats, Congress on 157 and AAP on two seats.
The BJP is leading on 1,636 seats, Congress on 625 and AAP on 16 seats.
Of the total 81 municipalities, the BJP was leading in 75 municipalities. The Congress was a distant second by leaving in four municipalities while AAP was ahead in two.
BJP maintains numero uno position
Just last week, the BJP had swept all the six key municipal corporations of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar. It not just maintained its hold over these corporations but also improved its performance as compared to the last elections. It won 483 seats last week as compared to 389 in 2015.
The BJP has shown remarkable resilience in the municipal and local body elections. After the party’s victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, its position in Gujarat had slipped in the local bodies. It could win only six of the 31 district panchayats. However, it is ahead in all of them and 196 of 231 taluka panchayats.
A similar pattern was observed in the 2017 Gujarat assembly elections when the BJP’s tally slid to 99 seats in the 182-member house whereas the party had won 115 seats in the 2012 state polls.
The present municipal and local body elections indicate a surge in the BJP’s strength in the 2022 assembly elections. They are also a shot in the arm for Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani and party’s state president CR Patil.
Reacting to the results, PM Modi said in a tweet: “Results of the Nagar Palika, Taluka Panchayat and District Panchayat polls across Gujarat give a crystal clear message- Gujarat is firmly with the BJP’s agenda of development and good governance. I bow to the people of Gujarat for the unwavering faith and affection towards BJP.”
Results of the Nagar Palika, Taluka Panchayat and District Panchayat polls across Gujarat give a crystal clear mess… https://t.co/dJERzTyu5X
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1614687609000
Congress loses ground
After showing improved results in the 2015 municipal and local body elections and the 2017 assembly polls, the Congress’s performance has deteriorated in this year’s elections.
The Congress was victorious in 21 district panchayats in 2015. In taluka panchayats, it emerged winner in 132 of 230. However, it was leading in only 33 taluka panchayats on Tuesday.
In 2015 municipal corporation elections, the Congress had bagged 174 seats. However, this year, it won just 44 seats.
It registered similar performance in the 2017 assembly elections. Its tally rose from 61 in 2012 to 77 in 2017. The Congress’s vote share also jumped from 38.95 per cent in 2012 to 41.4 per cent in 2017, an increase of 2.45 per cent.
The two consecutive defeats within a week has led the Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda and state Congress Legislative Party leader Paresh Dhanani to resign from their posts.
The party needs to toil to upturn this downward trend in the 2022 assembly elections.
AAP’s surprise debut
AAP has bagged nine seats in the municipalities against 1,967 of the BJP and 356 of the Congress.
In the district panchayat elections, AAP has won two seats whereas the BJP has won 735 and the Congress 157 seats. AAP is leading on 16 seats as compared to 1,636 seats of the BJP and 625 of the Congress.
AAP has made entry in rural Gujarat as well. In the municipal corporation elections last week, AAP dislodged the Congress as the main opposition party in Surat by winning 27 of the 111 seats. The Congress failed to win even a single seat in Surat.
Buoyed over the results in Surat, AAP convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal held a roadshow in the city on February 26.
AAP has become the BJP’s main challenger in Surat now.
AAP is now all set to expand its base in other parts of Gujarat for the next assembly elections.
It has already announced its plan to contest in state assembly elections of Punjab, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh besides.