With defection, BJP snatches power in Gandhinagar civic body

Gandhinagar, May 6 (IANS) With one Congress municipal councillor crossing over to it, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation (GMC) on Friday days after the results to the elections to the 32-member civic body threw up a tie with the Congress and the BJP winning 16 seats each.

Congress councillor Pravin Patel ‘Quality’ joined the BJP during the general board meeting of the GMC to give it a strength of 17 and was made the Mayor in return.

This came as a shock to the Congress party that had taken its elected councillors on a tour of Rajasthan to prevent any horse-trading by the BJP.

With this, all the eight municipal corporations of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Junagadh and Gandhinagar have come under BJP rule.

Elections to six of them were held in November-December last year and Gandhinagar in April. Polls for Junagadh, already under BJP rule, are yet to be held.

The board meeting was called on Friday for the election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

During the process, Pravin Patel, who had joined the Congress in 2011 after the BJP denied him a ticket to contest the civic polls then, returned to the party fold again.

This time, he rejoined the BJP claiming he was drawn to the ruling party because it recently announced 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections among the upper castes in admissions to educational institutions and government jobs.

Along with Patel, Devendrasinh Chavda was elected Deputy Mayor and Manubhai Patel made GMC Standing Committee Chairman.

Angry Congress councillors kicked up a fuss after Pravin Patel crossed over to the BJP and even tried to push him around.

Heavy police security, overseen by the Gandhinagar District Superintendent of Police himself, prevented things from slipping out of hand. The Congress has announced that it would move the court against Patel’s defection.

–IANS

desai/rn/bg

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