Rajasthan civic bodies polls: Congress makes inroads into urban pockets

The Congress won 961 wards while BJP bagged 731 wards. The urban pockets have traditionally been BJP strongholds

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and PCC president Sachin Pilot (file photo, PTI)
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and PCC president Sachin Pilot (file photo, PTI)

Prakash Bhandari

The Congress under the leadership of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and the PCC chief and deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot dominated the civic poll in the urban areas winning 961 wards against the BJP’s figure of 731.

The elections were held for 49 urban local bodies in 24 out of the 33 districts of the state.

“In Rajasthan after the Zila Parishad, then the panchayat and now the urban local bodies show the people’s faith in Congress. We believe in good governance and effective delivery of welfare schemes and this has given us good dividends,” Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said after the results were declared.

The party had suffered a setback in the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year but the latest results show it is reclaiming the lost ground.

“The urban local bodies elections results showed that the people have started realizing the mistake they did by giving its mandate to the BJP in the Lok Sabha election. This BJP myth will eventually evaporate and the Congress, a real people’s party, will give the country the leadership in future,” Gehlot said.

The party did well extremely in the home districts of Gehlot’s Jodhpur and Pilot’s Tonk.

This showed that the BJP’s popularity in the urban areas is on a decline and the Congress will be able to form the boards in various local bodies. The elections were held in three municipal corporations, 18 Nagar Parishads (municipal council) and 28 municipalities.

“What is creditable is the Congress performance in the urban area where the BJP has always dominated. It’s a change in the mindset of the urban people in favour of Congress. The polled votes suggest that the Congress got 3.66 per cent more votes than the BJP. In 2014, the BJP won in 40 out of the 46 local bodies, but the Congress this time gave better results,” Said Sooraj Khatri, a local political analyst.

“This shows that the urban following of the BJP is on the decline and the Gehlot government has done a lot of good things to win back the confidence of the urban electorate. In terms of the results in various wards the Congress won 961 as against the BJP’s 7,” he added.

However, in a few municipal corporations, particularly in Udaipur, Bharatpur and Bikaner, the BJP has emerged as a clear winner.

In 20 local bodies neither the Congress nor the BJP could do well and it’s the Independents who won more seats than the two national parties. The BSP won 16 seats, CPM three and the NCP three.

The Congress will be able to form boards in 20 municipalities as against BJP’s six. The situation is not clear in 20 local bodies while in three bodies, the Independents will have their say.

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