Updated: March 18, 2021 5:45:41 am
IN DRAMATIC turns of events, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) snatched Kalavad taluka panchayat (TP) in Jamnagar district from the Congress in a draw of lots following a tie in the election to the posts of president and vice-president on Wednesday. The party also seized control of Jamjodhpur taluka panchayat in Jamnagar and Upleta in Rajkot as Congress members defected or didn’t participate in the election meeting.
In the election for the posts of president and vice president in Kalavad TP, the BJP had fielded Mukesh Dangariya and Narvijaysinh Jadeja for the twin posts, respectively. The Congress nominated Devdan Jariya and Atul Kamani for the twin positions respectively.
In the election held for the 18-member general board of Kalavad TP last month, the BJP had won eight seats and Congress one. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had won two while one seat had gone to an Independent in Parmeshwariba Jadeja.
In the election for the president and VP conducted Wednesday, Parmeshwariba supported Congress, bringing the ruling party’s strength at par with BJP.
In the voting for the twin posts, both Congress and BJP candidates polled eight votes each as two AAP members, who were in attendance in the general board meeting, abstained from voting. “It was a tie in election for both president and vice president posts. So, according to rules, lots were drawn,” Akshay Budadia, sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of Jamnagar (Rural), who was presiding officer for election told The Indian Express.
The SDM said first the election for the post of president was conducted and the process of electing VP followed it. “We have videographed the entire process and have taken signature of members on the minutes of the meeting. The candidates also signed letters accepting the results of the election,” Budania said. He added votes are counted by counting of hands that members raise during the election process.
Jivan Kumbharvadiya, president of Congress’s Jamangar district unit president said his party proved unlucky and that it accepts the results. “We accept the results in continuation of democratic practice. The election was conducted as per rules of the state election commission and we have to respect that,” he said.
Another setback awaited the Congress in neighbouring Jamjodhpur taluka panchayat where, despite being the single-largest party by virtue of it having won nine of the 18 seats in the general board of that TP, the party failed to win elections to posts of president and VP.
Congress had fielded Bhanu Godham for president’s post and Parvati Bharad for the VP’s post. However, Hansa Sakariya, one of its nine elected members, rebelled against the party and threw her hat in the ring for the post of president and the BJP supported her.
The BJP fielded Devabhai Parmar for the post of VP. Eventually, Sakariya and Parmar polled 10 votes each as two members of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) voted in their favour. Congress nominees, on the other hand, could manage only eight votes each and lost the election.
“Sakariya wrapped a BSP scarf round her neck but it is evident that she drew her strength from the BJP. This is nothing but brazen example of money power of the BJP,” Kumbharvadiya alleged.
But BJP rejected Kumbharvadiya’s charge. “No horse-trading has happened, neither is there a question of money power. The fact is that Sakariya wanted to become president, a demand Congress didn’t accept. After she rebelled against the party, we supported her. What the BJP can do if some Congress member goes against its line,” said Ramesh Mungra, BJP’s Jamnagar district unit president.
In the Congress-ruled Upleta TP in Rajkot district, where both Congress and BJP had won eight seats each, the BJP won power as one of the Congress members remained away from the election process. The BJP fielded Kadviben Vavnotiya, an Independent who had declared support to BJP, for the post of president and Chetnaba Vala for the post of VP.
Congress on the other hand, fielded Vinod Chandravadiya and Bhima Chavda for the twin posts, respectively. Vavnotiya and Vala got nine votes each but Congress candidates polled only eight votes each as Anjanaben Utadiya did not attend the general board meeting convened to elected president and VP even as Pravinaben Humbal, the other Independent supported Congress.
The results left the Congress red faced which had flocked its elected member to an undisclosed location in Central Gujarat after counting of votes, conducted on March 2 for the elections to Upleta TP, didn’t indicate any clear winner.
Bhupat Boder is new president of Rajkot dist panchayat
BJP’s Bhupat Bodar was elected new president of Rajkot district panchayat uncontested after Congress didn’t filed a candidate. BJP’s Savita Vachhani was elected the vice-president of the district panchayat, also uncontested.
With this, Bodar earns the distinction of having served in Rajkot Municipal Corporation from 2005 to 2010 as well as in Rajkot district panchayat. Bodar had won election from Kasturbadham seat of the district panchayat.
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