BJP makes clean sweep in Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation polls
BJP supporters celebrating the party's victory in the Gandhinagar municipal elections, in Gujarat on October 5, 2021.Siddharaj Solanki/IAN

BJP makes clean sweep in Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation polls

Gandhinagar, October 5, 2021

Crushing the opposition by bagging 41 of the 44 ward seats in the civic polls, the BJP ensured that it will rule the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation (GMC), polling for which was held on Sunday.

The thumping victory gives the ruling party in Gujarat much more confidence for the assembly elections slated next year.

Two seats were claimed by the Congress, and the Aam Aadmi Party took one.

The GMC saw approximately over 56 per cent polling in eleven wards of the state's capital. This was higher than in the last elections held in 2016, when it was 52.02 percent. Polling went off peacefully with no untoward incident reported from anywhere.

With the entry of the Aam Aadmi Party in the political scenario of Gujarat, the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation elections saw a three-pronged battle on Sunday.

The Gujarat SEC held the GMC elections at 284 polling booths. Out of the total booths, four were marked as extremely sensitive, 144 sensitive and 136 normal booths.

Out of the total 2.30 lakh registered voters in the state capital Gandhinagar, approximately over 56 percent exercised their democratic right to elect 44 councillors from 162 candidates across 11 wards of the GMC.

Of the 2,81,897 voters, 1,58,354 exercised their franchise on Sunday, with 86,046 male voters and 72,308 female voters. The least polling was registered in the Panchdev temple ward, in the heart of the city, with approximate 37.41 percent and the maximum was registered in the Kolawada-Vavol ward with approximate 66.93 percent polling.

After the delimitation, newer areas of the adjoining villages have been added to the Municipal Corporation area. The majority of the wards comprised rural areas, barring a few with only urban areas.

Both the BJP and the Congress had fielded 44 candidates each, while 40 candidates were from the AAP, 14 from the Bahujan Samaj Party, 2 from the Nationalist Congress Party, 6 from other parties and 11 independent candidates.

"I am glad that the responsibility entrusted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to us, was successfully achieved. Although, our state president was disappointed with not winning the remaining three seats. We will continue to work towards development," said Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel.

Gandhinagar is the state capital and a significant number of residents are government employees. Considering this the municipal corporation elections assume a special significance. Besides that, this is the first major election after Bhupendra Patel took charge as Gujarat chief minister.

The GMC elections also hold significance, as this was the last major election before the Assembly elections scheduled in December 2022.

In the previous 2016 elections, the BJP and the Congress had both won 16 seats each out of the total 32 seats.

However, within days, two Congress councillors defected to the BJP, paving the way for the saffron party to form the ruling body in the GMC. Pravin Patel, one of the "defectors", was then elected mayor.

The GMC polls were originally scheduled for April 10, 2021, but were postponed due to the pandemic.


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