The ruling Congress in Rajasthan has beaten the BJP in urban local body elections held days after the party suffered a setback in rural polls.
Congress won a lead in 14 of 50 municipalities across 12 districts where voting was held. The BJP has won in four. But the Congress has claimed it can form a board in 41 municipalities with help from independents.
The Congress has won 619 of the 1,775 wards in 12 districts with Independents placing second after winning 595 wards. The BJP had to settle for third spot after it won 549 wards.
Independents have performed well in the elections to urban municipal bodies or Nagar Palikas and Nagar Parishads, virtually emerging as kingmakers. In 32 municipal councils, the support of independents will decide who forms the council.
"BJP's blatant lies of sweeping local body polls have been exposed yet again. In the municipal body polls, our party has won 619 seats, while BJP managed to win only 549 seats. In 17 bodies, we are forming our boards without any support, while in the remaining 24 bodies, we will form boards with the help of independents," said Govind Singh Dotasara, the Congress's Rajasthan president.
Last week, the BJP had won most of the rural local body posts and had claimed that it reflected public support the party and also its farm policies amid protests near Delhi by farmers upset over three new central laws.
The urban local bodies may not be as significant as the village Panchayat bodies, where more voters are involved, but it points at the trend of the Congress doing better in cities and the BJP gaining ground in rural areas.