- The party hopes to continue its good run in local body polls
- Last week, the BJP swept polls across several municipal corporations
- AAP, Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM also contested Gujarat local body polls
The ruling BJP headed for a big win once again in Gujarat local polls, winning 2,085 of 8,474 seats across various municipalities that voted on Sunday and establishing a wide gap with closest rival Congress. Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) took up from where it left last week, scoring again on its debut with 15 seats.
Continuing its good run in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, where elections are due next year, the BJP surged ahead in 75 of 81 municipalities, with the Congress’s seats dropping to four and AAP ahead in two.
The BJP is leading in all 31 district panchayats and it is ahead in 196 of 231 taluka panchayats, with the Congress ahead in 33.
Of a total of 8,474 seats involved, elections were held on 8,235 seats while in the rest, candidates were elected unopposed.
Last week, the BJP swept polls across six key municipal corporations of Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar, winning 483 of 576 seats. AAP registered its presence in Surat by winning 27 seats at the cost of the Congress, which failed to win any in that town.
Arvind Kejriwal, reveling in AAP’s performance, indicated that he was prepping his party for the 2022 Gujarat assembly elections.
On his victory trip to Surat on Thursday, Mr Kejriwal said AAP would seek votes from the people of the state in the next assembly polls based on the performance of the party’s 27 newly-elected corporators.
The Gujarat BJP sought to give the AAP chief a reality check. State BJP chief CR Patil jibed that Mr Kejriwal was holding a roadshow to celebrate the large number of AAP candidates who had lost their election deposits – forfeited when a candidate fails to get one-sixth of the total valid votes.
AAP and Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM also contested in the Gujarat local body polls, apart from traditional rivals BJP and Congress. The AIMIM fielded candidates in minority-dominated seats of Modasa and Bharuch municipalities. It also contested in the Godhra municipality.