With its candidates winning as president and vice-president of Kheda district panchayat amid exchange of blows on Thursday,the BJP has for the first time established control over all the 26 district panchayats in the state.
The ruling party in the state followed the same technique in Kheda as it had done in Banaskantha a day earlier. It fielded Congress defector Jayanti Sodha for the post of presidentship and also wooed the sole independent to reach the majority figure of 21 in a house of 41 members.
However,it was not as smooth for BJP in Kheda as it was in Banaskantha. Angry Congress members attacked Sodha for crossing over to BJP. The exchange of blows between elected members of the two parties continued for more than 15 minutes,with police rushing to break the fight and restore peace to ensure elections.
Kheda district Congress president Bharatsinh Parmar,who was Congresss candidate for the panchayats presidentship,alleged that the BJP had managed to get a majority with support of district collector M V Pargi and police. However,Pargi rejected the allegations saying it was the job of Congress leaders to keep their flock together.
We cannot prevent the elected representatives from crossing over from one party to another. It is not our job at all, said Pargi,who conducted the polls.
He said no police case had been registered by either side.
BJP-supported candidate was also elected as the vice-president of the panchayat.