Congress polled more votes in Panchayat polls than BJP; it is spreading misinformation: Gehlot

He said the number of Congress Pradhans had gone up by 31, while the number of BJP Pradhans decreased by 14 in the recent elections

Rajasthan CM  Ashok Gehlot (IANS Photo)
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot (IANS Photo)
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Prakash Bhandari

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has emphatically denied claims made by the BJP over the performance of the Congress in the recent Panchayat elections. The state BJP president Satish Poonia has been claiming that the Congress received a drubbing in the Panchayat polls, but Gehlot came out with statistics to prove that the Congress polled more percentage of votes than the BJP.

Gehlot said both BJP and Congress managed to have their candidates elected as Pradhans in 98 panchayat samitis, while in 26 other Panchayat samitis, other parties’ candidates won.

“Union ministers who actively campaigned for the BJP in the recent Panchayat poll tried to divert the attention of the people from the farmers’ agitation on the orders of the BJP high command. The BJP has been wrongly projecting figures to mislead people that they have secured more votes than the Congress. The fact remains that elections were held for 222 Panchayat samitis in 21 districts. While the Congress polled 40.87 per cent votes, the BJP got 40.58 per cent votes, that is 0.29 per cent less than the Congress. The BJP is portraying the Panchayat results as a huge victory for it, but data analysis proves that it was the Congress that scored marginally over the BJP,” he said.

Gehlot said in 2015 Panchayat elections, when the BJP was in power in the state, it had won 112 Panchayat samitis, while the Congress won only 67. He said the number of Congress Pradhans had 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 have fallen by 18 per cent in 18 months.

Gehlot said that the Congress could have done better, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, the party could not send its senior leaders for campaigning and highlights the achievements of the state government, including the good work done by it in handling the coronavirus crisis. He pointed out that the BJP had sent Union ministers hailing from Rajasthan for campaigning who violated all Covid-19 protocols.

Gehlot added that during the recent elections for the Hyderabad Greater Municipal Corporation too, all the big leaders of the BJP including its president J P Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah campaigned for the BJP violating all Covid-19 protocols.

Former deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot was instrumental in getting an independent candidate, Sunita Phagna, to win as Pradhan in Tonk panchayat samiti election. In Tonk, which is Pilot’s constituency, the BJP had won eight of the 19 panchayat seats, while the Congress won 11 seats. But at the initiative of Pilot, Sunita Phagna became the Pradhan because of the support extended by Congress members. Sunia polled 11 votes, while the BJP candidate Kusum Gujjar could get only eight votes. Sunita joined the Congress after winning the election.

Similarly in Bundi, the BJP suffered a jolt when at the initiative of state sports minister Ashok Chandna, an independent candidate, Chandrakala Kunwar became the Zila Pramukh and she joined the Congress.

The Congress also helped Sushila Kunwar in Ajmer become the Zila Pramukh with its support.

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