BJP, Congress claim victory in Gujarat Panchayat polls

Our Bureau Gandhinagar | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on December 29, 2016

A day before the demonetisation deadline (December 30), both the ruling BJP and the main opposition Congress Party, on Thursday, claimed to have won majority seats in the party-less panchayat elections held this week across Gujarat.

Villages across Gujarat had gone to panchayat election on Tuesday to elect ward members and sarpanchs. The polls recorded 80.12 per cent of voting.

While the panchayat elections are not contested on party symbols, political parties routinely back candidates in these polls. The grass-root poll in Gujarat also assumed significance in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as it was the first election post-demonetisation on November 8.

Out of a total 10,279 village panchayats, which went on polls, 1,325 elected all the ward members and the sarpanchs through consensus and without election. Another 483 sarpanchs were elected without contest. A total of 8,624 panchayats witnessed actual polling by the voters on Tuesday.

As the election results came in on Thursday, State BJP President Jitubhai Vaghani claimed that more than 80% candidates elected were those having “leaning” towards the BJP. “The BJP will soon organise sammelans of these elected representatives.”

On the other hand, the Congress, in a statement, also claimed victory of the party-supported candidates in around 80% seats, saying the demonetization had resulted in ‘erosion’ of the support base of the ruling party.

Meanwhile, both the rival parties organised celebrations at different places.

Published on December 29, 2016
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