JAIPUR: Congress retained its upper hand in Rajasthan politics winning 28 of the 49 municipal councils with the BJP registering success in 18 when results for the state’s local bodies poll was declared on Tuesday.
The Congress drew 8,74,000 votes to BJP’s 7,81,000 even as independents bagged two councils, while a tie was declared in another two.
The Congress also won 961 of the 2105 wards with BJP winning in 737 wards and independents bagging 386.
The domination of the Congress reflected that the party was successful in swaying traditionally pro-BJP urban voters, despite being routed in the Lok Sabha elections in May. The win came as a shot in the arm for the Gehlot government assailed by the BJP and dissenters within. Gehlot was quick to claim that the trends reflected the growing approval of voters’ for his government’s welfare works.
“We are very happy that the people have given us their mandate. We will try to solve urban issues with greater priority and live up to the faith that people have shown in our government,” he said, even as he linked it to national issues, besides the recent electoral verdicts in Maharashtra and Haryana.
“The result shows that people of Rajasthan have voted with a lot of common sense keeping all issues-national to local-in mind,” he said. However BJP state president Satish Poonia still feels that Congress’s performance is ‘poor.’ “Out of 2105 wards of the state, Congress won just 800, the BJP some 700 and Independents 400. The opposition to Congress is more,” he said.
Political analyst Narayan Bareth said, “The results strengthen Ashok Gehlot’s position within Congress. In the BJP, the Vasundhara Raje camp will emphasize that it could have been better if she were projected the leader. For Poonia, the verdict is a dampener.”