BJP sweeps polls in all 6 Gujarat cities; Congress decimated

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The Congress witnessed one of its worst debacles in the six municipal corporation elections in Gujarat even as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) made its debut and will become the main opposition party in Surat.

Of the 576 seats contested across Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar, BJP had bagged 485 seats while Congress secured 44, till the time of going to press.

AAP and the All India Majlish-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) opened their accounts with 27 and 11 seats in Surat and Ahmedabad respectively. Interestingly, Jamnagar saw three candidates from the Bahujan Samajvadi Party (BSP) making it to the corporation along with the BJP and Congress.

While low voter turnout had raised concerns among the political parties on polling day, incumbent BJP Gujarat President CR Patil’s strategy of activating page presidents and tinkered candidate selection process saw the party through one of its most remarkable wins.

While Congress did not win a single seat in Surat, the party managed to get 25 and 11 seats out of the 192 and 64 seats respectively in Ahmedabad and Jamnagar while in Vadodara, Rajkot and Bhavnagar, it had to make do with 7, 4 and 8 seats out of a total 76, 72 and 52 seats.

The party is struggling to even retain its opposition status in Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Rajkot. “For the status of opposition, the party needs to have at least 10% of the seats and in cities including Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot, they couldn’t even manage that,” said Yagnesh Dave, Gujarat BJP media coordinator.

While Congress workers vented their anger before the Congress office in Surat, security arrangements were tightened around Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan in Ahmedabad as a slew of resignations of city presidents followed the debacle.

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