The Bharatiya Janata Party in Gujarat is set to face a massive jolt in the elections for local self government institutions as the Congress is likely to capture around 20 of the 31 district panchayats as per the latest counting trends.
The Congress has already won Rajkot, Morbi, Botad, Anand and Gandhinagar District panchayats, which except Gandhinagar were held by the BJP.
Moreover, Congress is ahead in Mehsana District panchayat, which is native district of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.
However, the ruling BJP is set to retain all the six municipal corporations: Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Vadodara, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar and Surat with reduced majority.
The BJP is losing hugely in Saurashtra and Notth Gujarat regions where the Congress is likely to wrest most the of the district panchayats in these two politically crucial regions.
Out of 230 block panchayats the Congress is set to win over 130 while in semi-urban municipalities, the Congress and BJP are neck and neck in 56 local bodies. The state wide local polls are seen as precursor to the Assembly polls due in December 2017 and adverse results are set to trigger chorus of leadership change in Gujarat.
“For Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, it’s a massive setback,” said a top minister in her Cabinet.