The Congress has done better than the BJP in the elections to the 49 local bodies in Rajasthan, the results of which were announced Tuesday. Elections were held for three Municipal Corporations, and 46 Nagar Parishads and Nagar Palikas.
A total 961 Congress candidates have won, followed by 737 of the BJP, and 386 Independents. The BSP (16), CPI(M) (3), and NCP (2) have got consolation prizes.
The BJP has retained all three Municipal Corporations of Bikaner, Bharatpur, and Udaipur, but the Congress has won more Nagar Palikas and Nagar Parishads than the BJP.
The Congress has performed well in the urban areas, which generally support the BJP.
Polling was held for 2,105 wards/constituencies in the 3 Nagar Nigams, 17 Nagar Parishads, and 29 Nagar Palikas located in 24 of Rajasthan’s 33 districts.
The Congress had fielded 1,198 male and 778 female candidates; the BJP had fielded 1,166 men and 730 women. A total 2,651 men and 1,279 women contested as Independents. There were 7,942 candidates in all.
Rajasthan is a two-party state, and the general trend has been for the ruling party to perform better in local body polls. While winning more seats than the BJP was, therefore, the likely outcome for the Congress, the party will nonetheless welcome the results.
At the state level, the Congress has been riven by factionalism between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his Deputy Sachin Pilot, whose rivalry began almost a year ago during the distribution of tickets for the Assembly elections that were held late last year. Though the Congress did form the government, the problems between the two leaders possibly resulted in the party losing out on a few seats that it might have otherwise won.
Subsequently, the BJP — along with its ally the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLTP) in Nagaur — swept all 25 seats in the Lok Sabha elections held this summer. This demoralised the cadre, and only increased the frequency of skirmishes between the Pilot and Gehlot camps, with the Deputy CM openly questioning the government on law and order and other issues.
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