After securing victory in the Gujarat Assembly elections, the BJP suffered a major jolt on Monday when it lost political power in Mehsana municipality.
The development took place after 10 Congress councillors, who had deserted the party a year ago and joined hands with BJP, returned to the Congress on Monday. The renegade Congress councillors and BJP shared power in the municipality with the turncoat councillor Raiben Patel as president of the municipality and BJP’s Kaushik Vyas as chairman of the municipality’s standing committee.
In the November 2015 municipal polls, the Congress had won 29 of the 44 seats, and BJP 15. The Congress stayed in power for about a year. Last year, 10 Congress councillors “switched’’ over to BJP with their leader Raiben Patel continuing as municpality’s president after defecting from the Congress.
The development is considered politically important as BJP MLA and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel won with a huge margin from Mehsana Assembly seat last month. Patel dismissed the development as “insignificant’’ saying that “the renegade Congress councillors had never joined the BJP”.