Congress wins majority of seats in local body by-elections in Rajasthan
Close on the heels of an improved performance in Gujarat, the Congress on Tuesday won all the four zila parishad seats and also 16 of the 27 panchayat samiti seats and six nagar palika seats, for which bypolls were held.
The ruling BJP had to remain content with 10 panchayat samiti seats although it won seven nagar palika wards.
The saffron party could not even retain even a single of the four zila parishad seats that it held, according to the State Election Commission.
The bypolls for 27 panchayat samitis of 19 districts, 14 nagar palikas of 12 districts and four zila parishads were held on December 17.
“The results of the local bodies bypoll has proved that the countdown for the BJP in Rajasthan has begun. Congress has expressed the feelings of the people in the last four years and they have trust in the party,” Congress state president Sachin Pilot said.
He predicted a similar result in the upcoming bypolls for the two parliamentary seats of Alwar and Ajmer and Mandalgarh Assembly seat.
Bypolls on all the three seats have been necessitated due to sudden demise of two of the ruling BJP’s parliamentarians and a BJP legislator.
The civic by-election results are a setback for the BJP as it lost two nagar palika wards in Baran district, which is a strong hold of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s MP son Dushyant Singh.
The seats in various rural and urban local bodies had fallen vacant in Udaipur, Bhilwara, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Banswara, Dausa, Sriganganagar, Pratapgarh, Nagaur, Baran and other districts. Congress candidate Rajendra Patidar won by a margin of 3,178 votes for the Zila Parishad seat in Banswara.
Jubilant over the party’s victory in the by-polls, Pradesh Congress president Sachin Pilot said the BJP’s days were “numbered” in Rajasthan and its countdown had begun. “The Congress gave a tough fight to BJP in Gujarat. The Rajasthan government has completely neglected the people in both rural and urban areas during the last four years,” he said.
Mr. Pilot said the by-poll results in the State, coming just after the Gujarat Assembly election results, were “very encouraging” for Congress, as the local bodies which went to polls were geographically situated all over Rajasthan. “The results have depicted people’s disenchantment with the BJP and a renewed faith in Congress,” he said, adding that his party would win in the upcoming by-elections to two Lok Sabha and one Assembly seats as well.