A minor coup rocked BJP on Monday as they lost Kalol municipality elections to Congress. After having reigned over the municipality for 18 years, the sudden defection of four BJP councillors to Congress made it lose its majority.
Gandhinagar, Gujarat: A minor coup rocked BJP on Monday as they lost Kalol municipality elections to Congress. After having reigned over the municipality for 18 years, the sudden defection of four BJP councillors to Congress made it lose its majority.
Just before the election for the posts of president and vice-president was to be held in the Gandhinagar municipality, Timir Jaiswal, Manjula Vajir, Jashoda Raval and Ramila Parmar announced their decision to join Congress. The party then announced support to one of them as the municipality president. Jaiswal was announced as president and Congress councillor Prakash Vargade was appointed as the vice-president.
In 2016, BJP had taken 24 out of 44 seats while the rest went to Congress and Anandiben Patel had become the president then.
“The four BJP councillors are said to have shifted loyalty due to dissatisfaction and infighting within the party. While the Congress is celebrating its win, for BJP the loss of Kalol is a major one. It is considered to be the gateway to north Gujarat. BJP sources say, “Kalol town is considered the traditional bastion of BJP and the party has been in power here for almost two decades despite the election of Congress MLAs in last three terms. The Congress supported the candidate who wanted to become the president. We will now take necessary action against them.” In the recent past, the BJP had toppled Congress bodies at Gandhinagar, Dehgam and Mansa taluka panchayats by getting their councillors within their fold. “The people of Kalol have been facing difficulties in the BJP rule. We had announced several programmes to redress their problems. The people do not support BJP because there is no development work,” said Suryasinh Dabhi, president of the Gandhinagar district Congress,” reported Ahmedabad Mirror.
BJP had won 13 out of 26 seats of Kapadvanj municipality in 2016, while Congress won just one seat. The remaining 12 went to independents. In June, eight BJP councillors defected and allied with independents. The BJP had won 23 of 36 municipality seats in Mahuva municipality in Bhavnagar district in 2016 but Congress took the majority here too earlier this month.
The article originally appeared in Ahmedabad Mirror.