In the GMC, the BJP trumped rivals Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) by a huge margin winning 41 seats out of 44 while the Congress bagged two and AAP one.
The ruling BJP today consolidated its grip on power in Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation (GMC), which had been a Congress stronghold for a long time. The BJP also won in two other civic bodies in Gujarat but suffered a setback in its stronghold Bhanvad municipality where Congress emerged victorious. The debutant AAP had to console itself with just one seat.
In the GMC, the BJP trumped rivals Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) by a huge margin winning 41 seats out of 44 while the Congress bagged two and AAP one. In 2016 when the GMC had 32 seats, both the BJP and the Congress were tied at 16 seats each and the saffron party was able to form the board with the help from Congress corporator Pravin Patel who switched sides at the last moment. The Congress had formed a board in GMC in 2011. According to the SEC, 56.24 per cent of electors had exercised their franchise out of the total 2.8 lakh voters in Gandhinagar. A total of 161 candidates contested the GMC poll including 44 each from the BJP and the Congress and 40 from AAP.
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Results were also announced today for three more municipalities – Okha and Bhanvad and Thara municipality. According to the state election commission, the BJP won 20 out of 24 seats in Thara securing a majority while the Congress got only four seats. The BJP retained Okha municipality by winning 34 out of 36 seats, while two seats went to the Congress.
However, the biggest setback for the BJP came from Bhanvad which has been a saffron party bastion since 1995. The Congress emerged victorious in Bhanvad by winning 16 out of 24 seats while the BJP could only manage 8 seats this time. The voter turnout in Okha and Bhanvad was 55.07 and 62.27 per cent, respectively, while Thara had recorded an impressive 73.55 per cent turnout.
The voting for the four municipalities took place on Sunday. The polls came almost three weeks after the BJP changed its CM and reshuffled the entire cabinet in Gujarat. The GMC poll was being seen as a litmus test for new CM Bhupendra Patel ahead of the state Assembly elections next year.