BJP sweeps six key civic bodies in Gujarat
Gandhinagar: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday scored a spectacular victory in Gujarat winning six key municipal corporations and dealing a severe blow to the Congress.
Thousands of BJP activists set off firecrackers and danced on the streets of major towns while hailing Chief Minister Narenda Modi as the results of Sunday's ballot became known.
State Election Commission sources confirmed that the BJP had retained control of municipal corporations in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot, Surat, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar, routing the Congress.
The BJP won over two-thirds majority in five places, missing the target in Jamnagar by just three seats.
Of the total 555 seats on offer in the six corporations, the BJP wrapped up 441 while the Congress ended up with just 100. Independents won only in 14 seats.
Official sources said even in the e-voting, introduced for the first time in India, the BJP polled 312 of the total 369 e-votes polled in the six cities. The Congress got 37 votes and others 20.
The BJP increased its tally substantially in Ahmedabad, where the total number of seats this time increased to 189 from 129 in the 2005 elections.
The BJP strength in Ahmedabad rose from 96 in 2005 to 148 this time, while the Congress inched forward from 32 to 38. Three seats went to the independents.
In Surat, where the number of seats went up from 102 to 114, the BJP score rose from 90 to 98 and that of the Congress from 11 to 14.
In Rajkot, the BJP tally fell by a solitary seat, from 59 five years ago to 58 now. In Bhavnagar, the BJP total increased marginally from 39 to 41. The BJP number also declined from 76 to 61 in Vadodara.
The saving grace for the Congress came in Jamnagar where the BJP strength was reduced from 37 to 35. The Congress tally went up from nine to 16 with six seats going to independents.