AHMEDABAD: In a boost to BJP after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation move, the party has captured two municipalities and one taluka panchayat in local bodies polls, the results of which were declared today.
In the ongoing vote counting, BJP is also ahead on 23 out of 31 other seats of various municipalities, taluka and district panchayats where by-polls were held. As per the final result declared by the Gujarat State Election Commission, BJP has registered victory in Vapi municipality of Valsad district by capturing 41 out of total 44 seats.
Only three seats went to Congress in the recently held polls to this local body. Vapi municipality was earlier held by BJP. Similarly, BJP made a near clean sweep in the polls to Kanakpur-Kansad municipality of Surat, where it captured 27 out of 28 seats, leaving only one to Congress. It was also held by BJP earlier.
In Rajkot, BJP snatched Gondal taluka panchayat, which went for mid-term poll, from Congress by winning 18 out of total 22 seats. Congress settled for only four. Earlier, Congress was ruling Gondal taluka panchayat. Apart from these three elections, Gujarat SEC conducted by-elections on 31 seats of various municipalities, taluka panchayats and district panchayts across the state.
The bypolls were necessitated as these seats fell vacant due to various reasons. Though final results are yet to be announced, BJP is running ahead on almost 23 seats. The result assumes significance for the BJP in the run up to the state elections next year, and that they were held just after the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes by the Centre.
Taking a potshot at Congress over the results, Gujarat BJP's media convener Harshad Patel said the result has once again proved that the entire state is with BJP. "Regular as well as by-polls were held in different parts of Gujarat. Right from Vapi in south Gujarat to Gondal in Saurashtra region, people have chosen BJP over Congress.
The opposition party should now understand that people are really unhappy with them," Patel said. Gujarat Congress conceded its defeat and vowed to work hard for the people.
"We accept our defeat. BJP must not forget that it was only by-polls on some seats. Congress has always raised issues concerning people like notes ban and we will continue to do so," Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani hailed the victory as people's endorsement to Modi's two recent steps - surgical strikes across the LoC and demonetisation. "This is truly a grand success of BJP, as elections took place in different parts of state representing people from different communities. Thus, we can say that every section of society accepted BJP," said Rupani.
"BJP's victory in Gujarat can be seen as people's endorsement to Modi's two recent steps - surgical strike across LoC and the demonetisation move to wipe out black money from the system," he said.
BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya said that this is a vote for demonetisation decision of the BJP and negative approach of the Congress to oppose the anti-black money move.
Gujarat Congress conceded its defeat and vowed to work hard for the people. The opposition party also downplayed BJP's victory, claiming that people's mood can't be judged from such local body polls.
"We accept our defeat. But, BJP must not forget that it was only bypoll on some seats. Results of these polls cannot be taken as the litmus test of people's mood. We will introspect on these results. We will continue to raise issues concerning people," Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said.