Ahmedabad: Continuing its winning streak after the 2017 assembly elections in Gujarat, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has managed to win 47 out of 75 municipalities in the state. Congress won 16, NCP and BSP one each, and independents bagged four.
The BJP, like in the assembly elections, however saw a decline in its seat tally as it had last time held 59 of these 75 municipalities when the elections were last held in 2013.
The municipal polls were held on 17 February in 28 out of 33 districts of Gujarat. The 75 municipalities that went to polls witnessed a voter turnout of about 64%.
Rajkot reported the lowest turnout at 50.17 per cent while Dahod saw the highest turnout of 76.67 per cent.
BJP, which had won 117 Assembly seats out of the 182 in 2012, had last year slipped below 100 by winning 99 seats. Congress on the other hand had raised its tally in the Assembly from 54 in 2012 to 77 in 2017.
The Congress, on the other hand, saw an increase in its fortunes by winning a majority in 16 of the 75 municipalities, compared to six last time.
While there was a tie between the Congress and the BJP on six of the municipalities, six urban bodies have gone in favour of independents and others.
Elections were held for two district panchayats, 17 Taluka Panchayats and 1423 gram panchayats, simultaneously. Villagers in 295 gram panchayats chose their ‘sarpanchs’ unanimously.
For the first time in over a decade, parties contested the local body polls on their party symbols. BJP has been able to retain majority hold on municipalities since early 1990s.
The party was able to win 27 of the 28 seats in Vadnagar municipality, the hometown of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with Congress being able to win only one seat. BJP had lost the Assembly elections of 2017 from Vadnagar in wake of Patel quota stir. In fact, Congress has lost all the three municipalities in Mehsana district this time, also losing Kheralu and Vijapur to BJP.
In the automobile hub of Sanand, BJP was able to bag 20 of 24 seats, with Congress tally reducing from eight last time to four this time. Congress received a setback in Amerli district, the stronghold of leader of opposition in 14th Gujarat legislative assembly Paresh Dhanani. BJP has managed to win three of the four municipalities from Congress in Amreli district, even as Congress had made a clean sweep in 2017 Assembly elections here.
In Porbandar, where its senior leader Congress Arjun Modhwadia lost in Assembly elections, the party lost all three municipality seats.