Two months after the BJP won the Assembly polls in Gujarat by sweeping the urban centres in the state, the party maintained its hold by winning 47 of the 75 municipalities, the results of which were announced on Monday. The Opposition Congress emerged victorious in 16 municipalities, though the party claimed that it has won 24 municipalities — 16 on party symbol and eight other municipalities won by Independents backed by them.
According to results declared by the State Election Commission, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) won one municipality (Ranavav in Porbandar district) and Independents gained clear majority in three others. Eight municipalities threw a hung verdict, with no clear edge to any party. However, in three of these eight municipalities — Gariadhar in Bhavnagar, Pardi in Valsad, and Khedbrahma in Sabarkantha — both the Congress and the BJP won equal number of seats.
In the remaining five — Chaklasi, Kheda and Mahudha municipalities in Kheda district, Chhota Udepur municipality in Chhota Udepur district and Mangrol in Junagadh — Independents and smaller parties also won few seats, denying the chance to the BJP and Congress to emerge victorious. For example in Mangrol, out of the total 36 seats, Congress won 14, BJP 10, Independents six and smaller parties won one seat each. As per the State Election Commission, out of the total 2,060 seats of the 74 municipalities that went to polls last week, BJP won 1,167 seats, Congress 630, NCP 28, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) 15 and Independents 202.
Interestingly, the BSP emerged as a single major party in Chhota Udepur municipality in the tribal-dominated district. Out of the total 28 seats in the municipality, BSP won nine, BJP four, Congress eight, Independents five and others two. As the results poured in, both the BJP and Congress claimed that they have improved their performance as compared to the 2013 civic polls results.