Rajasthan civic body polls: Jaipur to have Cong-led municipal corporation after 26 yrs, party performs well

Congress won the majority seats in two corporations-Jodhpur North and Kota North by massive margins. It also has taken the lead in the newly created Jaipur Heritage corporations

Photo Courtesy: PTI 
Photo Courtesy: PTI

Prakash Bhandari

The ruling Congress performed quite well in the municipal corporation elections in Jaipur, Jodhpur and Kota where elections for the six municipal corporations were held. The Congress won the majority seats in two corporations-Jodhpur North and Kota North by massive margins. It also has taken the lead in the newly created Jaipur Heritage corporations. It's for the first time in 26 years that the capital city of Jaipur will have a Congress-led municipal corporation. The BJP fielded 16 Muslim candidates against the Congress, but only one could win.

Asma Khan, a 21-year-old collegian who is yet to become a graduate was the youngest elected at the age of 21 years.

The Congress was ahead of its main rival, BJP by winning more number of wards and polled higher votes than the BJP in the six municipal corporation elections.

While the Congress polled 8,66,459 votes, the BJP could get 8,17,651 votes. The Independents won 4,3,0650 votes in 560 wards for which the elections were held.

The BJP which was ruling the three corporations suffered a rude jolt as it could win only two corporations. In Kota South, the BJP and Congress tied with 36 seats each, the formation of the board in Kota South will greatly depend on the Independents.

The urban local institutions like the municipal corporations were ruled by the BJP. But in a masterstroke, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and the urban development minister Shanti Dhariwal decided to bifurcate the municipal corporation with each three cities getting extra municipal corporations. The Congress government did the bifurcation in such a way that all the minority and backward community dominated wards would come under one municipal corporation. This worked out well for the Congress as the party managed to win from two municipal corporations and are in a position to form its board in the third. The Congress party workers are crediting both Gehlot and Dhariwal for this.

Thus taking into account the six corporations- Jaipur heritage, Jaipur Greater, Jodhpur North, Jodhpur South, Kota North, and Kota South there were a total of 560 wards. Out of the 560 wardz, Congress won 261 and the BJP 242, while Independents won in 57 wards.

Jaipur never had a Congress-ruled corporation in the past 26 years, but now it would be able to form its board in Jaipur heritage which was largely possible because of the delimitation. Similarly, in Jodhpur North, the minority and the Mali community in the home turf of the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot came under the Jodhpur North. The Congress won the North corporation.

In Jodhpur, both the Chief Minister and the Union Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat shared honours as in Jodhpur South the BJP had a comfortable win and the North went to the Congress.

But, the significant victory for the Congress was Shanti Dhariwal from Kota South. The urban development and housing minister, Shanti Dhariwal, who represents the Kota North seat made a dent in the BJP stronghold Kota South. The Kota South is a saffron citadel where the Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and MLA Sandeep Sharma have great influence. But, Dhariwal made inroads into Birla’s bastion to win 36 wards and effect a tie to the surprise of Birla. Birla suffered heavily in his own bastion where Dhariwal’s Congress candidates won. Now with a tie, Congress is trying to form the board with the support of the independents.

In Jodhpur, in the overall tally, Congress trounced BJP by securing 82 of the 160 municipal seats, while the BJP could win only 62 wards.

In Jodhpur, Kunti Parihar, and Mehraj Ansari are the two candidates vying for the Mayor’s post in Jodhpur North.

In Jodhpur South, two women candidates Vanita Seth and Indra Rajpurohit are in fray along with Bhanwar Kunwar for the post of Mayor, Vanita Seth, Indra Rajpurohit and Bhanwar Kunwar are in the fray for the Mayor’s post.

Dhariwal emerged as a very tall figure in the BJP’s bastion of Kota. He did it with consistent good development work in the city and through this performance, he won the admiration of the Congress party and its workers.

Reacting to the elections Chief Minister Gehlot said that the BJP is getting exposed each day and people have started teaching it a lesson.

The results of the corporations showed an abject failure of the BJP’s leadership. The party deliberately kept Vasundhara Raje out of the election and the result was the party performed poorly in the hadauti region of Kota from where the former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje belonged.

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