Capturing the last frontier in Gujarat, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept the Junagadh Municipal Corporation (JMC) elections on Tuesday by winning 41 out of the total 60 seats in the civic body. After facing a drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections in April, the loss of power in JMC marks the ouster of Congress from any significant institute of power in Gujarat.
The BJP candidates took lead in the early rounds of counting of votes and maintained it throughout. Eventually, the party prevailed on 41 seats. The saffron party clean swept ward No.2, 4, 6,7, 10, 11, 12, 13, ,14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 by pocketing all of the 39 seats. It also won one seat each from ward number 1 and 19 to grab more than two-third of the total seats.
Noticeably, Girish Kotecha, who was Deputy Mayor of Junagadh before he changed allegiance and joined the BJP last month, also won from ward number 11. With him, 11 other sitting Congress corporators had also joined the BJP and the saffron party had awarded tickets to seven of them. In the results announced on Tuesday, seven of the eight turncoat corporators, including Kotecha, were declared winners.
On the other hand, Congress managed to win only 16 seats. It won all the seats in ward number 3, 8, 9 and 20 and two seats each from ward number 5 and 19. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) won two seats in ward number 1 while an Independent also managed to register win from ward number 5.
Besides Kotecha, Junagadh city BJP unit chief Sanjay Koradiya was among prominent winners from the saffron party. For Congress, outgoing Mayor Lakh Parmar won from ward number 20 while former Mayor Satish Virda alias Captain was declared elected unopposed. Asif Sangh, one of the four Muslim candidates fielded by the BJP, won from ward number 2. On the other hand, six out of the seven Muslim candidates nominated by Congress won. Polling was held on Sunday and 51.17 per cent turnout was recorded.