NEW DELHI: Rajasthan is looking like the proverbial silver lining for the Congress as the party continues its winning spree in the state amid electoral reverses elsewhere.After its emphatic win in the recent bypolls for two Lok Sabha and an Assembly seat in the state, the Congress scored a victory over the ruling BJP in elections for four of the six zila parishads, 12 of the 21 panchayat samitis and four of the six municipalities.
“After winning the recent MP&MLA by elections, Cong has today comprehensively routed BJP in the local body by-elections held in 21 dists in Rajasthan!(sic)” Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot tweeted.
BJP and Independent candidates bagged one zila parishad each. The BJP won 8 panchayat samitis and two municipalities while one zila parishad went to Independents.
An upbeat Pilot said the results were significant, coming months ahead of the Assembly polls in October and indicated a certain ouster of the BJP from the state. “I thank the people for it,” he said. “It is a yet another victory of party workers. In the last four years, the BJP has exploited people of the state due to its anti-people policies,” he said in a statement.
AICC sources said the victory in local body polls has brought some cheer among the state’s party workers who were disappointed by the poor show in Tripura and Nagaland Assembly polls, where the Congress failed to open its score.Sources attributed the victory in Rajasthan to the revamp the party’s state unit has gone under Pilot over the past four years.
After the Congress was thrashed by the BJP in the 2013 Assembly polls, winning only 21 of the 200 seats, Rahul Gandhi had handpicked Pilot to head the state unit and tasked him with its revival, which appeared to be a Herculean task then. The Congress lost all the 25 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. But sources said the state unit has come a long way since then. “Party workers are excited to win the coming polls,” Pilot added.