Gandhinagar: Gujarat's ruling BJP won the most seats in municipal elections today, but has lost ground compared to the last elections five years ago. The party has won 47 of 75 municipalities for which elections were held; it had won 59 in 2013.
- Gujarat's ruling BJP won most seats in municipal elections today
- Chief rival Congress has won 16 municipalities
- Six municipalities did not give a clear mandate to either party
Chief rival Congress has won 16 municipalities, five more than the 11 it had won last time. It had lost five of them two years later, when its leaders defected to the BJP, and is claiming today's result as a major gain. The party claimed that it also supported four Independents who have won and so its tally today is 20.
Six municipalities did not give a clear mandate to either party and the Congress has asserted that it will gather the support needed to form the municipal board in each of them.
The BJP's loss of 12 municipalities comes just two months after the party posted its weakest performance in years in assembly elections held in December last. The party won a fifth straight term in power in Gujarat, but not before a scare as the Congress seemed to catch up several times when votes were being counted, eventually reducing the BJP's margin of victory considerably.
The BJP won 99 of Gujarat's 182 assembly seats, down from 115 in the last elections and only seven more than the majority mark of 92. At least 15 BJP candidates won by a margin of less than 500 votes. The Congress won 77 along with allies, up from 60 seats.
Though it has lost several civic bodies today in urban areas, its stronghold even in the December assembly elections, the BJP will draw consolation from still being way ahead of the Congress in municipalities, which it has dominated since the early 1990s.
In some cheer for the party, it has won 27 of 28 seats in the municipality in Vadnagar, the hometown of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with the Congress being able to win only one seat. The BJP had lost the Vadnagar seat in the assembly elections.