Zila Parishad members of the ruling Congress and the Opposition BJP joined forces on Thursday to defeat a Zila Pramukh candidate supported by the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) at Dungarpur in Rajasthan.
In the recently held elections, BTP-backed Independents won 13 out of the 27 seats in the Dungarpur Zila Parishad. The BJP and Congress won 8 and 6 seats, respectively. While the 13 BTP-backed Independents voted for their candidate Parwati Doda, BJP and Congress Zila Parishad members voted for Surya Ahari, a BJP member who contested as an Independent, helping her reach the majority mark of 14.
Ahari, 40, is a tribal and has studied till Class XII. She is a former pradhan of Dungarpur’s Galiyakot panchayat samiti. Her husband Balveer said she is not taking calls now.
BTP founder Chhotubhai Vasava tweeted, “BTP nek hai isiliye Congress BJP ek hai (BTP is good so BJP and Congress is one).” He also wished Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on their “newfound alliance”.
The party has two MLAs — both from Dungarpur — who support the Gehlot government.
Meanwhile, following the good show in Zila Pramukh member elections earlier this week, the BJP on Thursday elected Zila Pramukhs to 12 Zila Parishads and Congress had to contend with five Zila Pramukhs.
In the results declared Tuesday, of the 636 zila parishad member posts across 21 districts, the BJP won 353 and the Congress won 252. In Jhalawar, BJP has won 19 out of 27 Zila Parishad seats – well past the majority mark – but voting for its Zila Pramukh post will be held Friday on account of repolling in a booth.
Apart from Dungarpur, Independents won in Ajmer and Bundi. In Ajmer, despite having a clear majority, BJP had to suffer a shock as its rebel Sushil Kanwar defeated the BJP candidate by 14 votes – with the help of Congress.
In Bundi too, the Congress did not field its own candidate and instead supported Chandravati, a BJP rebel who went on to defeat the BJP candidate by a margin of three votes.
As for the panchayat samiti pradhan posts, out of the 4,371 panchayat samiti member seats, the BJP won 1,989 compared to 1,850 bagged by the Congress. However, the Congress Thursday managed to elect 97 pradhans, just one less than BJP’s 98. Independents won 23, Rashtriya Loktantrik Party won 2 and CPM won one.