NEW DELHI: A listless Congress found itself whipped by the electorate in Gujarat, as results of the local body polls came in on Tuesday.
While there was no surprise in the BJP sweeping the municipal corporation elections, the Congress was forced to cede a part of its opposition space to Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and to a lesser extent to Asaduddin Owasi’s Majlis- e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen.
Of the six municipal corporations that went to polls, the Congress drew a blank in Surat and trailed way behind the BJP in the other five.
In contrast, the AAP won 27 seats in Surat while the BJP got 93 of the 120 that were up for grabs. In the Ahmadabad Municipal Corporation, out of 192 seats, the BJP was way ahead of the Congress, while MIM opened account with 7 seats.
In the Jamnagar Municipal Corporation, the BJP won 50 while Congress got 11 and the BSP 3. In Bhavnagar, Vadodara and Rajkot municipal corporations, the Congress could not even reach double figures, winning 8, 7 and 4 respectively, as against the BJP’s 44, 69 and 68.
The Congress has been out of power in the Gujarat for 25 years. In the 2017 state polls under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership, it gave the BJP a scare, scoring 87 as against the BJP’s 96 in a 182-member Assembly.
Subsequent defections weakened the party and reduced it to 61. The Gujarat blow comes a day after the Congress lost power in Puducherry.
According to an analyst, consecutive Congress losses in all major elections has forced people to look for an alternative.
“In 2017, people of Gujarat wanted to vote out BJP, but the Congress failed to capitalise on it. Continuingnfighting in its Gujarat unit, too, is a factor in the poor performance,” he added. Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the verdict.
“Thank you Gujarat! Results... clearly show the unwavering faith people have towards politics of development and good governance,” he tweeted.