Gujarat local body polls: BJP leads in cities, Congress makes inroads in rural areas

Ahmedabad: Counting of votes for the crucial local bodies polls in Gujarat, a litmus test for the ruling BJP against the backdrop of Patel quota agitation, has begun on Wednesday, DNA reported.

While the BJP is ahead in five out of the six civic bodies, the Congress is making inroads in rural areas, Hindustan Times reported.

Voting for six municipal corporations was held on 26 November, while that for 31 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats and 56 municipalities was held on 29 November.

The six municipal corporations -- Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar, and Bhavnagar -- registered only 45 percent voter turn-out, but elsewhere it was over 60 percent.

 Gujarat local body polls: BJP leads in cities, Congress makes inroads in rural areas

Representational image. Image courtesy: Reuters

The State Election Commission had made all the preparations for the counting at several places across the state, officials said.

The elections are being seen as a challenge for the BJP and the Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, as they come after the Patel quota stir. These are also the first major elections in the state after Anandiben took over from Narendra Modi.

The Congress is hoping to make a comeback in the state, cashing in on resentment of the Patel community against BJP.

Patel leaders who are demanding inclusion in the OBC quota had appealed the community members to vote against BJP and for Congress ahead of the elections.

All the six municipal corporations are at present controlled by the BJP. Most of the other local bodies in rural and semi-urban areas too are controlled by the BJP. Meanwhile, the SEC on Tuesday conducted re-polling at a booth each in Dahod and Mahisagar districts.

"Some people had stormed into a booth in Ghodiya village of Zalod tehsil in Dahod and broke the EVM machine when polling was underway for district and taluka panchayats last Sunday. Similar incident took place in Nani Bhugedi village of Santrampur in Mahisagar. So we are conducting re-polling," said SEC secretary MV Joshi.

Ghodiya has 854 registered voters while Nani Bhugedi has 921 registered voters.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Dec 02, 2015 14:19:11 IST