BJP sweeps Gujarat rural local body polls, Congress decimated

The BJP is poised for a landslide victory in the Gujarat municipal and local body elections, while the huge poll debacle for the Opposition prompted resignations from Congress’ state unit president Amit Chavda and leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani. The BJP registered a massive win in the Gujarat district panchayat polls, winning all 31 seats, thus wiping out the Congress.

The counting of votes for Sunday’s local body polls in 81 municipalities, 31 district panchayats, and 231 taluka panchayats was conducted on Tuesday. By 7 pm, the BJP registered a massive lead in all 31 district panchayats. The top BJP leadership, including party president J.P. Nadda, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, congratulated the party cadre for the performance.

In 2015, the BJP had won 22 seats and Congress seven, while two were won by others. But this time, the BJP wiped out the Congress and all others by bagging all seats.

The Congress performance in the district panchayat polls dipped to the extent that the grand-old party even failed to open its account in the Panchmahal district. In 29 districts, the number of its winning candidates did not even touch the double digits. The Congress even lost the district panchayat polls in Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani’s constituency Amreli. Congress candidates also lucked out in other party bastions like Anand, Sabarkantha and Jamnagar districts.The party did poorly in areas led by Congress veterans like Paresh Dhanani, Amit Chavda, Bharat Singh Solanki, Ashwin Kotwal, Vikram Madam, etc.

In fact, Amit Chavda resigned from the post of Congress president, while Paresh Dhanani resigned from the post of Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, and the resignations were accepted by the party high command. It can be said that after the big defeats, the Congress may see some new faces by the end of March. Until the Congress announces the name of the new president, acting president Hardik Patel can take charge of the organisation.

In the midst of experiencing a crushing defeat, only in Devbhoomi Dwarka and Rajkot district panchayats has the Congress been able to reach double figures. The BJP has succeeded in winning Gandhinagar district panchayat for the first time. In Anand, Amreli, Sabarkantha, Jamnagar district panchayats, too, the Congress is on the verge of defeat. The chinks have been exposed in the strongholds of Congress veterans Dhanani, Amit Chavda, Bharatsinh, Ashwin Kotwal and Vikram Madam.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and state president C.R. Patil had campaigned vigorously for victory in district-taluka panchayats and municipalities. CM Rupani on Tuesday congratulated his party workers for their performance in the state’s recent local body polls and said that the people of the state have wiped out the Congress. “In the results of district panchayats, taluka panchayats and municipalities, the saffron colour of Bharatiya Janata Party is flying all over Gujarat,” he said.


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