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Gujarat civic body polls: BJP wins big, bags 47 municipalities, Congress 16

The BJP continued its winning performance in Gujarat by bagging 47 out of 75 municipalities on Monday.

Gujarat civic body polls: BJP wins big, bags 47 municipalities, Congress 16

Ahmedabad: Continuing its victory run, the ruling BJP on Monday bagged 47 out of 75 municipalities in the Gujarat civic body polls polling for which were held last week.

The main opposition, Congress, won 16 municipalities, while the NCP and BSP emerged victorious on one seat each.

Voting for the 75 municipalities was held on last Saturday and the results were declared today.

Elections were also held for two district panchayats, 17 taluka (tehsil) panchayats and 1,423 village panchayats, simultaneously.

The villagers in 295 village panchayats chose their 'sarpanch' unanimously.

This was also for the first time in a decade that parties contested the local body polls on their party symbols.

Though it lost several urban bodies, the consolation for the BJP is that it has retained a majority hold on the municipalities since the early 1990s.

"The BJP has won 47 municipalities, the Congress 16, the NCP and BSP one each. While Independent candidates won four municipalities, six others remained hung as no party gained a clear majority," State Election Commissioner Varesh Sinha said while announcing the results.

In December last year, the BJP had registered a sixth straight victory in the Gujarat Assembly polls by winning 99 seats while the Congress secured 77 seats in the 182-member House.

Three of the six municipalities that delivered a hung verdict are Khedbhramaha in Sabarkantha district, Gariadhar in Bhavnagar district and Pardi in Valsad district, where both the BJP and the Congress won 14 seats each.

"Of the total 2,060 seats in these 75 municipalities spread across 24 districts, the BJP won 1,167, Congress 630, NCP 28 and BSP 15 seats. Other small political parties won 18 seats, while Independent candidates emerged winners on 202 seats," Sinha said.

The vote-counting process was peaceful, he added.

In Prime Minister Narendra Modi's hometown Vadnagar in Mehsana district, the BJP won 27 of the 28 seats, while the remaining seat went to the Congress.

As the results were declared, BJP workers started celebrating at the party headquarters in Gandhinagar. 

Results show people's unbreakable faith in BJP: Amit Shah

BJP president Amit Shah described his party's win in Gujarat municipal polls as a proof of people's "unbreakable" faith in the state government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's good governance and pro-people policies.

"For people of Gujarat to continuously put their trust in the BJP is a proof of their unbreakable faith in the state government's and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's good governance and pro-people policies," Shah said in tweets, congratulating state leaders for the "grand" win.

The state's CM Vijay Rupani too hailed the results as a ''referendum on development.''

"This is a victory against the negative politics and programmes of the Congress. The people of Gujarat have once again rejected the negativity that the Congress is generating," BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya later said.

The Congress had run the BJP close in the assembly polls, which were held in December, winning 77 seats against its 99-- eight more than halfway mark of 91. 

The takeaway for the Congress is that it has entered into double-figures in the municipalities after a much-improved performance in the recent assembly elections.

Congress leader Alpesh Thakor said the party had improved its tally substantially.

"The Congress held eight municipalities earlier. We have improved our tally substantially. We are going to have Congress presidents in 20 municipalities with the support of Independent candidates," he said. 

Today's local poll results will be seen as a morale booster by the saffron party as it gets ready for the Lok Sabha polls in Modi and Shah's home state where it had won all seats in 2014. 

(With Agency inputs)