Counting of votes for the crucial local bodies polls in Gujarat, a litmus test for the ruling BJP against the backdrop of Patel quota agitation, will be conducted Wednesday. The elections are being seen as a challenge for the BJP and the Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, as they come after the Patel quota stir. These are also the first major elections in the state after Anandiben took over from Narendra Modi. The Congress is hoping to make a comeback in the state, cashing in on resentment of the Patel community against BJP. Patel leaders who are demanding inclusion in the OBC quota had appealed the community members to vote against BJP and for Congress ahead of the elections. All six municipal corporations — Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar, and Bhavnagar — are controlled by the BJP. Most of other local bodies are controlled by the party.
Meanwhile, the SEC Tuesday conducted repolling at a booth each in Dahod and Mahisagar districts. “Some people had stormed into a booth in Ghodiya village of Zalod taluka in Dahod and broke the EVM machine when polling was under way last Sunday. Similar incident took place in Nani Bhugedi village of Santrampur in Mahisagar. So we’re conducting repolling,”said SEC secretary M V Joshi.