Gujarat Local Body Poll Results Today, BJP Anticipates Winning Streak
Results of local body elections in 27 districts of Gujarat will be announced today (Representational)
The results of local body elections in 27 districts of Gujarat - which includes 81 municipalities, 31 district panchayats and 231 talukya panchayats - will be announced today, with the ruling BJP eager to continue its winning streak and re-assert its dominance in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state, ahead of Assembly elections due early next year.
The party romped to victory in polls held earlier for six municipal corporations, winning 483 of 576 seats. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's AAP also made headlines after it won 27 seats in Surat to shut out the Congress and replace it as the main opposition in the city.
Mr Kejriwal, who held a roadshow to celebrate the win, said: "If we are 27, they are 93 (the BJP won the remaining 93 seats). Numbers don't matter. Every man in our party is enough for 10 rivals. People of Surat have given you the role of opposition. Don't let them (rivals) do anything wrong."
"The public can tolerate everything but they cannot take not insult or arrogance. We must never humiliate anyone who comes to us," he warned.
The BJP hit back via state chief CR Patil, who hastened to point out that a large number of other AAP candidates lost election deposits - forfeited when s/he fails to get a sixth of all valid votes.
This was the first time the AAP, which fielded 470 candidates, had contested civic polls in Gujarat.
The Gujarat election will also be watched for the performance of Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM, which contested candidates in minority-dominated seats of Modasa and Bharuch municipalities.
The party also fielded candidates in the Godhra municipality.
Impressively, the AIMIM won seven of the 21 seats it contested in Ahmedabad.
Meanwhile, the results of by-polls to five wards in Delhi - three under the East Delhi Municipal Corporation and two under the North Delhi Municipal Corporation - will be announced on Wednesday.
The BJP - a relatively weak opposition in the Delhi Assembly - controls all three of the national capital's municipal bodies and, ahead of full-fledged civic polls next year, will want a strong result in these by-polls to help it challenge the AAP.
Mr Kejriwal's party controlled four of the five now-empty seats; they were vacated after the sitting councillors were elected as MLAs. The fifth was held by the BJP's Renu Jaju, who died in 2019.
The two parties - who hold all 70 Assembly seats between them for a second straight term - have traded accusations of improper development in the city.
In the last full election (April 2017), the AAP pipped the Congress to second, winning 49 to 46 seats. The big winner, though, was the BJP with 181 seats.