With Independent MP Mohan Delkar extending support to the JD(U) candidates, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has suffered a dent in the November 8 Dadra and Nagar Haveli (DNH union territory) local body elections, results for which were announced Wednesday. While the party retained its edge over the JD(U) in the Silvassa municipality, it was decimated in the DNH district and gram panchayats.
The BJP, however, retained its lead in the Daman and Diu (DD) union territory local body, which also went to polls on Sunday. In the Daman municipality polls, it won 11 seats, three of them uncontested after Independent candidates withdrew their nomination due to the popularity of Jignesh Patel, brother of local Congress unit president Ketan Patel, who had joined the BJP six months back.
Of the 15 wards in the DNH’s Silvassa municipality, the BJP won from nine and the JD(U) six. In DNH district panchayat polls, the JD(U) managed to wrest 17 seats of the 20 seats, while BJP won on three. Of the 20 DNH gram panchayat seats, the JD(U) candidates took control over 18, while the remaining two went to the BJP.
While the Silvassa municipality was previously run by the BJP, the DNH district panchayat was held by Delkar loyalists and the JD(U) had not won a single seat in the local body elections in the union territory so far.
In October, Delkar, a six-time parliamentarian from DNH who had parted way with the Congress ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, had entered into an alliance with the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led party for the district panchayat and Silvassa municipality elections. While the JD(U) is a part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, the two parties contested the elections separately in the polls here.
The Congress, which had contested from seven wards in Silvassa municipality and on two seats in DNH district panchayat, faced a complete rout.
In Daman municipality polls, the BJP won from 11 wards — the party was declared the uncontested winner on 2, 8, and 13 wards, while Independent candidates won three, and the Congress one. In Daman district panchayat, the BJP won 10 seats while the remaining six went to Independent candidates. Of the eight seats in Diu district panchayat, the BJP won on five and Independent candidates three.
The Daman district panchayat was earlier held by the Congress, while the Daman municipality and Diu district panchayat was with the BJP. Vasu Patel, the BJP’s DNH and DD unit general secretary, said, “People like the BJP and have voted for the party candidates in both the union territories. There is no public support for the Congress in both the union territories. (Mohan) Delkar-backed JD(U) candidates have dented us on some seats. We will work on our weaknesses and areas where we lacked and emerge stronger in the future.”
Congratulating the JD(U) for its good show in DNH local polls, Delkar said, “We wanted to make a dent on the BJP and the JD(U) candidates supported by us have for the first time performed excellently. We have won in the DNH district panchayat. The results reflect the victory of the people and democracy. Now, our future planning will be to make our areas more developed by taking help from the Central government.”
Despite repeated attempts, Congress’s Daman and Diu president could not be reached for comment.
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