In a big boost to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of Gujarat Assembly elections next year, the party has scored an impressive victory in the state’s local body bypolls.
The BJP has won 109 out of 126 municipal and district panchayat seats in 16 districts for which by-elections were held.
The ruling party has snatched 40 seats from the Congress, many of which it had lost last year under the leadership of then Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.
The Congress, on the other hand, has managed to win only 17 seats.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has thanked the people of Gujarat for reposing faith in the BJP. He also congratulated Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and state party president Jitu Vaghani for the BJP’s victory in these elections.
“I salute people of Gujarat for continued trust in BJP. BJP's great win in local polls shows people's strong faith in development politics,” he tweeted
I salute people of Gujarat for continued trust in BJP. BJP's great win in local polls shows people's strong faith in development politics.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 29, 2016
“Congratulations to @BJP4Gujarat Karyakartas, CM @vijayrupanibjp & @jitu_vaghani for their hardwork work across the state,” he added.
Modi pointed out that the BJP’s victory in recent polls including Maharashtra and Gujarat civic polls show that the people will no longer tolerate corruption and misgovernance.
“Be it the Northeast, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat...BJP has performed very well. I thank the people,” he tweeted.
Be it the Northeast, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat...BJP has performed very well. I thank the people.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 29, 2016
“These results across India illustrate that people want all-round progress of the nation & will not tolerate corruption & misgovernance,” he said in another tweet.
These results across India illustrate that people want all-round progress of the nation & will not tolerate corruption & misgovernance.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 29, 2016
As per the final result declared by the Gujarat State Election Commission, BJP has registered victory in Vapi municipality of Valsad district by capturing 41 out of total 44 seats.
Only three seats went to Congress in the recently held polls to this local body. Vapi municipality was earlier held by BJP.
Similarly, BJP made a near clean sweep in the polls to Kanakpur-Kansad municipality of Surat, where it captured 27 out of 28 seats, leaving only one to Congress. It was also held by BJP earlier.
In Rajkot, BJP snatched Gondal taluka panchayat, which went for mid-term poll, from Congress by winning 18 out of total 22 seats. Congress settled for only four. Earlier, Congress was ruling Gondal taluka panchayat.
Apart from these three elections, Gujarat SEC conducted by-elections on 31 seats of various municipalities, taluka panchayats and district panchayts across the state.
The bypolls were necessitated as these seats fell vacant due to various reasons.
Taking a potshot at Congress over the results, Gujarat BJP’s media convener Harshad Patel said the result has once again proved that the entire state is with BJP. “Regular as well as by-polls were held in different parts of Gujarat. Right from Vapi in south Gujarat to Gondal in Saurashtra region, people have chosen BJP over Congress. The opposition party should now understand that people are really unhappy with them,” Patel said.
Gujarat Congress conceded its defeat and vowed to work hard for the people.
“We accept our defeat. BJP must not forget that it was only by-polls on some seats. Congress has always raised issues concerning people like notes ban and we will continue to do so,” Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said.
(With PTI inputs)