PTI reports that in the ongoing vote counting to the local body polls in prime minister, Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat, the ruling BJP has recorded decisive wins. According to the final result declared by the Gujarat State Election Commission (SEC), the BJP has registered victory in Vapi municipality of Valsad district by capturing 41 out of total 44 seats. Reports also indicate that the BJP is also ahead on 23 out of 31 other seats of various municipalities, taluka and district panchayats where bypolls were held.
Similarly, the BJP made a near clean sweep in the polls to Kanakpur-Kansad municipality of Surat, where it captured 27 out of 28 seats, leaving only one to the Congress. It was also held by the BJP earlier.
On November 17, 2016, Congress had swept the Unjha local body elections by winning 36 of the 36 seats.
In Rajkot, the BJP snatched Gondal taluka panchayat, which went for mid-term poll, from the Congress by winning 18 out of total 22 seats. The Congress settled for only four. Earlier, the Congress was ruling Gondal taluka panchayat.
Apart from these three elections, Gujarat SEC conducted by-elections on 31 seats of various municipalities, taluka panchayats and district panchayts across the State. The bypolls were necessitated as these seats fell vacant due to various reasons. Though final results are yet to be announced, the BJP is running ahead on almost 23 seats.
The result assumes significance for the BJP in the run up to the State elections next year, and that they were held just after the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes by the Centre.
Taking a pot-shot at the Congress over the results, Gujarat BJP’s media convener Harshad Patel said the result has once again proved that the entire State is with BJP.“Regular as well as bypolls were held in different parts of Gujarat. Right from Vapi in south Gujarat to Gondal in Saurashtra region, people have chosen BJP over Congress. The opposition party should now understand that people are really unhappy with them,” Mr. Patel said.
Gujarat Congress conceded its defeat and vowed to work hard for the people.
“We accept our defeat. BJP must not forget that it was only by-polls on some seats. Congress has always raised issues concerning people like notes ban and we will continue to do so,” Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said.