Gandhinagar: The election to Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation (GMC) has resulted in a tie as both the BJP and Congress won 16 seats each out of the total 32 in the counting held on Tuesday.
A lottery system will now decide which party will rule over the GMC.
"The poll result ended in a tie as both the parties won 16 seats each. Congress was ahead with 15 seats after the counting on 28 seats while BJP had 13 seats. In the last lap of counting for eighth and final ward, BJP won on three seats while Congress won one seat, creating a tie," Gandhinagar Collector Ravi Shankar said.
"In case of a tie, mayor and other office bearers will be chosen through a lottery system by pulling out chits from a box," he said.
As the counting progressed during morning, both the parties were neck and neck. The picture became clear only after the declaration of results for ward number 8.
The tie comes as a relief to BJP and Chief Minister Anandiben Patel who is facing many odds in the state in the form of Patel quota agitation, water scarcity and allegations of corruption.
However, Congress is upbeat as after sweeping the rural local body polls last year, it is claiming that urban voters are also warming up to the party, in the run-up to the 2017 state Assembly elections.
"We welcome the verdict given by the people of Gandhinagar. Our support is intact in the GMC as in the last elections Congress had won 18 seats but we have managed to contain them on 16 seats despite the adverse situation," state BJP unit president Vijay Rupani said.
The Congress also said it accepts people's verdict.
"We accept the verdict of people of Gandhinagar," Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said, adding that a tie was recorded in the urban area, which is generally considered to be the stronghold of BJP.
This is the second election of GMC after it was declared a municipal corporation in 2011. In the first poll, Congress had won with 18 seats out of 33, while 15 seats went to BJP.
However, in 2012, BJP snatched power from Congress after three of the latter's councillors switched over to the saffron party. Since then, the BJP was ruling over the GMC.
Gandhinagar has a large number of government employees as voters.
After the recent delimitation, the number of wards have decreased from 10 to 8, while the number of seats have gone down to 32 (4 each in ward) from the previous 33.
Polling was held on Sunday when 52 per cent voters out of total 1.5 lakh registered electorate of the capital city exercised their franchise.
In 2011, the voting percentage was around 59 per cent.
Earlier in December last year, BJP had won the elections of six municipal corporations and gained majority in municipalities, while the Congress had swept taluka panchayat and district panchayat elections.
The state Assembly polls are slated to be held at the end of 2017.