Gandhinagar civic polls: BJP, Congress win equal seats

Gandhinagar, April 26 (IANS) The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress won equal number of seats in the election to the municipal corporation of Gujarat’s capital Gandhinagar, throwing up a tie.

The polling for the second term of the GMC was held on Sunday.

By-elections to 10 taluka panchayat seats in five districts were also held simultaneously. The BJP has won seven, leaving the rest to the Congress. The BJP earlier had only one of these rural seats in five districts while Congress had six.

Meanwhile, the BJP and the Congress have won one seat each in by-polls to two seats in as many district panchayats.

Losing its majority in the 32-member Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation, the BJP has won 16 seats, two down from 18, equalling the number of seats held by the Congress. A total of 78,247 out of 1,50,610 eligible voters exercised their franchise.

The Congress has more reason to cheer than the BJP in the results as the party’s panel of four has won in three out of a total of eight wards, while only one of the BJP’s panels could win.

The Congress had secured 18 seats to win the first elections to the Gamdhinagar civic corporation five years ago when Narendra Modi was chief minister, but lost power midway when its three members defected to the BJP, which held 15 seats.

The GMC then had 33 seats. After delimitation, these were reduced to 32. Gandhinagar and Junagadh were the only two corporations out of eight where the Congress held the majority.

Gandhinagar Mayor Mahendrasinh Rana, who had defected to the BJP to topple the ruling Congress, has lost the elections by just 60 votes to Congress’ Pravin Patel ‘Quality’, who had switched over from the BJP.

With both parties having 16 seats each, it was yet unclear who will get to rule the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation.

–IANS

desai/rn/vt

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