The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) captured control of Viramgam nagarpalika (municipality) on Saturday and the Congress did not stake claim to be part of its government despite winning only one seat less than the BJP.
Viramgam, which is home to the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel, was seen as a prestige issue for the BJP, given that Anandiben’s road show there has witnessed protest by his mother and sister. In fact, Hardik’s mother Ushaben and his sister Monica along with other women were also detained during her rally, howver, were realsed later.
When the election for president and vice-president was to begin, the Congress members did not turn up. As a result, the BJP candidates were declared winner by default, claims the BJP. There are 38 seats in the Nagapalika body, of which the Congress had won 16 seats while BJP bagged 17 seats, others won on 3 seats but somehow the Congress candidates did not come to the election venue to stake claim for the top posts, said a BJP office-bearer.
BJP member, Kantibhai Patel, has been elected as the president of the municipality and Navdeepsingh Dodia has been elected as the vice-president, said a BJP source.
Congress MLA of Virmagam, Dr Tejashreeben Patel, said that it was predetermined action to stay away. “I was present during the proceedings. By abstaining from the process, we wanted to send to message to voters that the Congress did not want to indulge in poaching of members, otherwise, some BJP members had offered to remain absent for us and let us win”, she said. She said the party had accepted the people’s mandate in the election and would continue with its 16 strongly committed members in the municipality.