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Rural Gujarat: BJP loses some strongholds too

In the terms of number of seats, the margin appeared even bigger with Congress winning 568 seats and BJP securing only 360 seats.

gujarat, gujarat polls, gujarat civic polls, gujarat news, gujarat ivic poll results, gujarat poll results, gujarat news, india news A BJP candidate celebrates victory in civic body polls with supporters in Surat on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)

Opposition Congress made a big comeback to the political scene in rural Gujarat on Wednesday by winning a sizeable number of seats in both the district and the taluka panchayats. The trends showed that Congress was winning 19 of the 31 district panchayats.

In the terms of number of seats, the margin appeared even bigger with Congress winning 568 seats and BJP securing only 360 seats (final figures were yet to come). In the 2010 local body polls, BJP won over 540 seats, while around 240 seats went to Congress.
BJP, however, managed clear victories in six district panchyats — Kutch, Porbandar, Panchmahal, Navsari, Surat and Valsad.

In Gir-Somnath, two Independents held the key to the tie between the two parties having 13 seats each. In Bharuch, Narmada and Dev Bhoomi Dwarka, it would either be candidates of other parties or Independents who would decide the political fate of the district panchayats.

Though, the final break-up of the number of taluka panchyats won by the two parties were still awaited, trends showed that a large section of rural voters have opted for Congress. So far, Congress has won on 2,455 seats, while BJP emerged victories 1,953 seats. In 2010, BJP had 2,460 seats in the taluka panchayats, while Congress managed only 1,428.

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In Narmada district and taluka panchayat polls, Congress took away several traditional BJP seats, but JD(U) also emerged as a gainer. While the district panchayat did not throw result in favour of any party, out of 22 seats, Congress won 10, BJP six and JD(U) six. The number required to form a board is 12.

BJP lost out in Narmada taluka pachayat polls too, with Congress gaining Nandod (12 of 16 seats) and Tilakwada (14 of 16 seats) and JD(U) winning a majority in Dediapada (11 of 20 seats). Garudeshwar taluka panchayat was hung with BJP getting nine and Congress seven of the total 16 seats.

However, Congress lost Rajpipla Municipality with BJP winning 15 of 28 seats. The coalition of Congress and Independents that was in power here since 2010 had 13 seats.

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BJP lost Anand district panchayat too with Congress notching 30 of 42 seats. In the eight taluka panchayat seats, Congress retained six — Borsad, Anklav, Petlad, Sojitra, Umreth and Tarapur — and added one, Anand Taluka Panchayat. BJP managed to retain Khambhat seat.

In Vadodara district, BJP retained Padra and Karjan Municipalities, but lost Dabhoi, finishing with just four seats. Congress won 28 of the total 36 seats and Independents emerged victorious in the rest four.

BJP also witnessed defeat in the district panchayat and the taluka panchayat in Vadodara. While Congress won 22 of 36 district panchayat seats, including Padra, Dabhoi, Waghodia, Sinor, Desar, Vadodara rural and Karjan, BJP retained Savli.

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In Dabhoi, Congress made a clean sweep of four district panchayat seats, leaving BJP empty handed in one of its trongholds in the district.

This also includes Karnali taluka panchayat seat, which Union Minister Arun Jaitley has adopted under PM Narendra Modi’s Sansad Aadarsh Gram Yojana scheme. The party faced a similar embarrassment in Vadodara taluka panchayat polls, losing 94 of 176 seats to Congress.
BJP’s Vadodara district president Satish Patel blamed the party MLAs from the areas for “faulty” selection of candidates as well as the elected representatives of 2010, who “did no work”.

He said, “The loss has hurt us and it is time to introspect why the panchayat areas did not choose the party. Honestly, the elected candidates who formed the majority for our party in 2010 did not work in these areas and people were angry about it. Moreover, the selection of candidates from the party was done as per the choice of the MLAs of the respective areas and it backfired.”

In Chhota Udepur too, Congress swept the district panchayat with 21 of the total 32, and won three taluka panchayats of Chhota Udepur, Kawant and Pavijetpur. Bodeli taluka panchayat, which has 26 seats, ended in a tie with BJP and Congress securing 13 seats each.
Chhota Udepur District Election Officer and Collector Jenu Devan said, “The tie does not affect the results as the elected members from both parties will now elect a president of the taluka panchayat of Bodeli. The board will then be formed as usual.”

First published on: 03-12-2015 at 04:28:34 am
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