The ruling BJP on Tuesday consolidated its position in the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) as its candidate Nitin Ramani won the bypoll to ward number 13 of the civic body.
The by-election had turned into a lopsided contest after Congress candidate Narshi Patoliya withdrew his nomination papers on January 16 and joined the BJP the same day.
Following his resignation, Ramani was left without a credible challenger in the bypoll.
Congress had then extended support to Sanjaysinh Vaghela, a BJP rebel who was contesting as an Independent.
Polling for the by-election was held on Sunday which recorded around 31 per cent turnout. In the counting of votes undertaken on Tuesday, Ramani emerged victorious with 11,116 votes (61 per cent) from a total of 18,288 votes that were polled.
Vaghela received 4,799 votes (26 per cent).
With this, the BJP now has 41 members in the 72-member RMC general board. Meanwhile, the Congress tally has gone down to 31. In the general election to RMC in 2015, Congress had won 34 seats out of 72.
Ramani was earlier president of the BJP unit for ward No.13 of the RMC. However, after the BJP denied him a ticket to contest the civic body poll in 2015, he defected to Congress and emerged victorious. Ramani had quit Congress in October last year and rejoined the BJP, necessitating the bypoll.