Rajasthan civic polls: Congress outshone BJP, many independents who won joining hands with it

Congress pushed BJP to the third spot in several places as there were 595 independent winners and a large number of independents have come forward to support the Congress

The ruling Congress party in Rajasthan performed creditably in the civic polls for 50 local bodies of 12 districts as it won 619 of the 1775 wards, while the BJP could win in 549 wards.

The result of the civic polls showed that the urban voters were happy with the performance of the Ashok Gehlot government. In fact, the Congress pushed the BJP to the third spot in several places as there were 595 independent winners and a large number of independents have come forward to support the Congress in forming the board of governance in such local bodies that had a fractured verdict.

“My heartiest congratulations and best wishes to all the candidates who have won the municipality and municipal council elections. I express my gratitude to the people of the state who have reposed confidence in the party leading to its victory. I thanks all the workers for their hard work and congratulate them for their victory,” tweeted Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

The Congress is set to rule in 41 municipal bodies, while the BJP is expected to form the governing boards in nine municipal bodies.

Congress emerged as a winner by far in the home district of former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Sriganganar. In Jaipur district, which is a BJP stronghold, the Congress won six out of the 10 municipalities. In Bharatpur district, the Congress routed BJP largely through the efforts of the Congerss MLA and the scion of the Bharatpur royal family, Vishvendra Singh.

Elated over the success of the Congress, PCC president Govind Singh Dotasara said that the Congress is in a position to form its boards in all such municipal bodies where there is a stalemate and the support of the independents will be crucial.

Dotasara said the BJP was ruling in 34 out of the 50 local bodies, but the Congress had outshone the BJP and the latter could win only in four municipal boards.

The BJP’s loss indicates that people had faith in Congress policies, and the independent candidates who won outnumbered the BJP. Most of the independents have already said that they would support the Congress in forming Congress-led boards in such bodies where there is a stalemate, Dotasara said.

He admitted that most of the independents are Congress supporters and are ready to come back to the Congress fold. Under a special strategy, the Congress did not give the party’s symbols to its candidates on the advice of Vishvendra Singh and it worked wonders. A large number of Congress-backed independents won Bharatpur’s Deeg and Kumher, for instance.

The BJP could get only eight per cent votes and this was a setback to the saffron party.

Chief Minister Gehlot said in the 2015 Panchayat elections, the BJP which was in power then, had won 112 Panchayat samitis, while the Congress could win only 67. He said the number of Congress Pradhans

has already gone up by 31, while the number of BJP Pradhans decreased by 14 in the recent elections.

He said the voting percentage of the BJP since the 2019 Lok Sabha elections has fallen by 18 per cent in 18 months. In urban areas where the municipal elections were held, the BJP secured only eight per cent votes.

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