The BJP swept the panchayat and municipal elections in Gujarat delivering a major blow to the Congress. The party is set to win most of the 31 district panchayats, 81 municipalities and 231 taluka panchayats which went to the polls on Sunday.
As per the results announced till 5:30 p.m., the party won 771 seats in districts panchayats, 2,027 in municipalities and 3,236 in taluka panchayats while the Opposition party’s tally was 164, 375 and 1201 respectively.
The Congress lost miserably in its traditional bastions in central Gujarat, the tribal belt in the south and north Gujarat and the Patidar-dominated Saurashtra region where it swept last time.
Even in the home district of State party chief Amit Chavda and CLP leader Paresh Dhanani, it was wiped out.
The ruling party had already won all the six municipal corporations in the first phase on February 21.
After the poor show, Mr. Chavda and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Paresh Dhanani have resigned from their posts. According to sources in the party, their resignations have been accepted by the high command and replacements would be announced in the next 2-3 weeks.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani thanked the people for the party victory.
“Results of the nagar palika, taluka and district panchayat polls across Gujarat give a crystal clear message — Gujarat is firmly with the BJP’s agenda of development and good governance. I bow to the people of Gujarat for the unwavering faith and affection towards the BJP,” the PM said on Twitter.
Buoyed by the results, Mr. Rupani said the local elections had laid the foundation for the BJP’s victory in next year’s Assembly polls.
“The BJP will win the Assembly polls next year and people of Gujarat don’t even consider the Congress fit to be even Opposition party,” the Chief Minister told workers at the party State headquarters.
In 2015, the Congress had won the majority of the district and taluka panchayats.