Two women BJP candidates won in the Gujarat civic body polls on Monday. Nimuben Bambhaniya was elected as the new mayor of Bhavnagar municipal corporation while Pratibha Kankhara was elected as her counterpart for Jamnagar municipal corporation in the election held for the top posts.
The post of mayor in Bhavnagar was reserved for women candidate this time round. Besides Bambhaniya, three-time corporator Jalvika Gondali was also believed to be strong contender. Bambhaniya, who comes from an OBC family, won the favour of ruling BJP. After parliamentary board of Gujarat BJP cleared her name, she was formally elected as the mayor of Bhavnagar at the maiden meeting of newly elected board of Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday evening.
Bambhaniya is also a three-time corporator of the BJP and has even served as a vice-president of state BJP. She is also quite active in the woman wing of the party, BJP insiders said. This will be second stint for Bambhaniya as a mayor of Bhavnagar. She was elected to the top post in 2005-06 for a brief period. Her husband runs a school in Bhavnagar.
Bambhaniya succeeds Babu Solanki who had lost election last month. Election to municipal corporation, municipalities, district panchayats and taluka panchayats held in November, were the first, after state government gave 50 per cent reservation to women in local body polls.
Meanwhile, Manbha Mori was elected as the deputy mayor of Bhavnagar, while Suresh Dhandhaliya was elected as the new chairman of standing committee of the BMC.
On the other hand, Kanakhara faced a stiff competition on her way to becoming the Jamnagar mayor. Bina Kothari, a two-term corporator was believed to be among the front-runners. Dimple Raval, who debuted in electoral politics by winning the November 22 poll was also in the contest. However, in the end, BJP leaders chose 53-year-old Kanakhara. A homemaker, Kanakhara has studied till Class VII. Her husband Prakash is general secretary of Jamnagar city unit of the BJP and runs an electrical goods store in the city.
Kanakhara succeeds Dinesh Patel. In the November 22 poll to Jamnagar Municipal Corporation (RMC), Patel had emerged as the only mayor in Saurashtra to retain his seat as a corporator. While Rajkot Mayor, Raksha Boliya, had been denied ticket by the BJP for a re-election, Bhavnagar mayor had lost the poll. However, Patel was out of reckoning for the post of mayor as it was reserved for woman this time round.
Bharat Mehta, a two-term corporator was elected as the deputy mayor of Jamnagar and Kamlasinh Rajput was made the new chairman of standing committee of Jamnagar Municipal Corporation.
BJP had managed to retain power in municipal corporations of Bhavnagar, Jamnagar and Rajkot even as the party suffered heavy losses in rural Saurashtra in local body polls held last month.
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