BHOPAL: Ahead of BJP national president Amit Shah’s three-day visit to Madhya Pradesh starting Friday, the ruling party won posts of chairpersons in 25 out of 43 urban local bodies where polling was held on August 11.
Surprisingly, opposition Congress won posts of heads in 15 local bodies, followed by independents in three local bodies.
The Congress party’s magic worked in state’s largest district Chhindwara, the Lok Sabha seat of former Union minister and senior party leader Kamal Nath.
The opposition party won in four out of six local bodies there, with the ruling party managing to win just one local body. The independent candidate who won from Pandurna too was a Congress rebel, claimed state Congress chief, Arun Yadav.
Also, in a significant development, the opposition Congress won the by-election to the post of councillors in two local bodies — Shamgarh and Garoth in Mandsaur district — which was the epicentre of the violent farmers’ agitation in June. Out of these, the Congress wrested two seats from the BJP in Shamgarh, while retaining its seat in Garoth urban local body.
While the BJP won three urban local body posts less than in the 2012 polls, the Congress bettered its tally from nine to 15, consequently gaining six local body posts.
The opposition party also claimed that two of the three independents who won from Pandurna (Chhindwara) and Sarani (Betul) were its rebel candidates.
BJP state president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan termed the win of party candidates in the 25 local bodies as a perfect gift to national party president Amit Shah ahead of his arrival on Thursday night but declined that the Congress had gained anything in the elections.
The Congress wrested from the BJP the posts of chairpersons of urban local bodies in Jhabua (Jhabua), Maheshwar (Khargone), Damua, Saunsar, Mohgaon (Chhindwara) and Baihar (Balaghat). The BJP, on the other hand, wrested from the Congress urban local body chairperson posts in Harrai (Chhindwara) and Nepanagar (Burhanpur).
When it came to the performance by the two main parties, BJP and Congress, in the constituencies of their prominent leaders, the Congress could win just three of the eight chairman posts in three districts — Ratlam, Jhabua and Alirajpur — that form part of Ratlam-Jhabua Lok Sabha seat represented presently by former Union minister and ex-state Congress chief Kantilal Bhuria.
Amit Shah to be in Bhopal for three days
Amit Shah will arrive in Bhopal on Thursday night and hold a series of meetings with party functionaries and elected representatives over the next three days.
His visit is being seen as crucial for key changes in the party organisation in the near future as well as drawing a roadmap for winning the 2018 Assembly polls.