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Gujarat Civic Polls: BJP leading, Congress a distant second

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The counting of votes for the second phase of Gujarat civic polls began on Tuesday, with the ruling BJP emerging ahead of all other parties in the fray. The saffron party is leading in majority of the 81 municipalities. It is also widening the gap with closest rival Congress in district panchayats and taluka panchayats.

Notably, in the second phase, elections were held for 81 municipalities, 31 district panchayats and 231 taluka panchayats.

Till 11.30 am, BJP has secured victory in 358 taluka panchayat seats, whereas Congress won 94 seats. Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party won four seats. As far as initial trends in the district panchayats are concerned, BJP is leading in 20 out of the 31 seats, whereas Congress is leading in only one seat.

Meanwhile, AAP revealed that 24 party candidates have been officially declared winners from various rural areas and the party is leading in many more seats. AAP tweeted, “Good news coming in from Gujarat! 24 AAP candidates have been officially declared winners from various rural areas. AAP leading in many more seats. The revolution which started in urban Gujarat continues in the rural polls.”

Municipal corporation elections

The BJP has already registered a thumping victory in the six municipal corporation elections held on February 21. BJP has won 483 of the 576 seats in these six municipal corporations that include Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar.

Congress’ loss of face

In contrast to the BJP’s stellar performance, the Congress was further decimated in the state, with its tally reducing further as compared to the seats it had won in the previous municipal corporation elections held in 2015. One of the major reasons for the Congress’ poll debacle is the internal fighting in the party as well as selection of candidates.

AAP victory

AAP lost its deposits in most of the seats it contested in all the six municipal corporations.

However, it performed exceptionally well in Surat Municipal Corporation where it went on to win 27 seats decimating the Congress to a big zero. The BJP won the remaining 93 seats in Surat.

AIMIM factor

This is the first time that AIMIM led by Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi is contesting the local body polls. Blamed as the ‘B team’ of the BJP, Owaisi’s party went on to win seven of the 21 seats it contested in Muslim-dominated areas in Ahmedabad.

It will be interesting to see how AIMIM performs in the local body polls outside cities. Notably, the party has fielded candidates in minority-dominated areas in Modasa, Godhra and Bharuch municipalities.

 

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