NEW DELHI: The BJP is set to retain power in all six municipal corporations of Gujarat, winning at least 449 of the total 576 seats till Tuesday evening. Counting is still under way in a few constituencies.
The result will come as a shot in the arm for the saffron party, which suffered a sound defeat at the hands of the Congress in the recent Punjab civic polls.
With the BJP headed for a landslide, Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the victory as “very special” and said it is noteworthy for a party that has been serving in a state for over two decades to record such a phenomenal win.
He said the results of municipal elections clearly show the unwavering faith people have in politics of development and good governance.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel expressed gratitude to the voters and BJP workers for the results.
“The grand victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the elections of six municipal corporations is the victory of the people of Gujarat.
“This is a grand victory of the politics of development started by Hon’ble Prime Minister @narendramodi,” tweeted Rupani in Gujarati.
“Many thanks and congratulations to all the winning candidates, BJP office-bearers, workers and the voters of Gujarat for the glorious victory of Bharatiya Janata Party in the elections,” tweeted Nitin Patel.
AAP makes inroads
While the BJP dominated the civic elections, new entrant Aam Aadmi Party also made impressive gains in the state by winning 27 seats in Surat.
In all, the Arvind Kejriwal-led party had fielded 470 candidates across the six constituencies.
In Surat, the AAP has now pushed the Congress from the second to third position.
Party leaders said Kejriwal will hold a road show in Surat after the impressive performance.
Setback for congress
The Congress’s string of poor performance in Gujarat continues, with the grand old party managing to bag just 43 of the declared seats so far.
Former state Congress president Arjun Modwadia said the election results are disheartening for the party workers.
“The election results of six municipalities are disheartening for Congress workers in Gujarat. We accept the people’s mandate but after every dark night there is a dawn. We will work hard to get the confidence of urban voters,” Modwadia told news agency IANS.
The Congress had lost all the Lok Sabha seats in the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Following the poor performance, a series of Congress leaders resigned on Tuesday.
Ashok Dangar, Rajkot Congress president tendered his resignation. Alike, Babu Rayka, Surat Congress president and Prakash Vaghani, Bhavnagar Congress president, also submitted their resignations.
(With inputs from agencies)