Even as the counting of votes for the December 29-30 polls to 8,250 village panchayats in the state began on Saturday,both rival parties started staking claim to victory though the trends were not yet clear.
While the Congress claimed a clean sweep,the BJP was a little cautious in estimating the number of winning panchayats. The BJP has claimed that all samras panchayats plus another 30 per cent of the 8,247 villages that went to polls were won by BJP-supported candidates.
Gujarat BJP vice-president I K Jadeja said the final tally would improve further for his party.
This is in contrast with Congress leaders claims that they would not let village panchayats go samras. Still,25 per cent of them went samras under their nose,which means many have abstained from having elections in favour of the BJP. We have clearly won on 30 per cent of panchayats as per initial trends,he said.
On the other hand,state Congress president Arjun Modhwadia mocked BJP claims that all samras panchayats were with it. A number of panchayats had been won uncontested by the Congress even before they were declared samras. So,where is the question of them going the BJP way? he said.
Modhwadia said the Congress was going to have a clean sweep by winning more than 70 per cent of the panchayats that went to polls.
Meanwhile,State Election Commission has said the counting was still in progress and 50 per cent of votes had been counted by evening. In-charge State Election Commissioner P S Shah said 77.83 per cent of voting was witnessed during the elections in 8,247 village panchayats on Thursday.
Results would be announced around 10 pm.
As the elections were not fought on party symbols,party-wise results cannot be given by the Commission, he said.
The panchayat polls are being seen as the semi-final for the 2012 Assembly election since out of 13,500 village panchayats,more than 10,394 had election in one go. Out of this,2,147 villages opted for samras (unanimous selection without election) while election took place in 8,247 villages.