In the second phase of the civic polls held in Rajasthan, the ruling Congress has emerged ahead of the BJP. The elections were held for a total of 3034 wards of 90 local bodies in 20 districts. Out of these, the Congress won 1197 wards, compared to 1140 won by the BJP.
The NCP which is practically non-existent in the state sprung a surprise by winning 46 seats. The Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP), that broke an alliance with the BJP, won 13 seats, while the CPM won three and the BSP finished poorly with just one victory.
The ruling party got a clear majority in 19 local bodies as compared to the BJP&rsquos 24, but the PCC president Govind Singh Dotasara said that the majority of the Independents who won had a Congress background and would help the party form the boards in 50 out of the 90 local bodies.
The Independents are enjoying clear majority in nine urban bodies and they will play a key role in the formation of the governing boards in 37 bodies.
What was surprising was the emergence of the NCP which hardly has any presence in the state. The NCP overtook RLP winning 46 seats as compared to the RLP&rsquos 13, dispelling the claims of its leader and MP from Nagaur, Hanuman Beniwal, who had claimed that his party was the third force in the state. The NCP would form the boards in two smaller bodies in Nokha in Bikaner district and Newai in Tonk district.
The RLP severed its electoral alliance with the BJP recently.
Interestingly, in Mundwa, a small municipality in Nagaur district which is the home district of Beniwal, both the Congress and the RLP won 11 seats each, while the BJP could win only two wards. Here the Congress and RLP would join hands together to form the board.
The bye-elections for four Vidhan Sabha seats in the state are also due because of the deaths of three Congress and a BJP MLA. Several local bodies are part of these Vidhan Sabha constituencies and in these local bodies, the Congress secured 49.67 per cent votes while the BJP could get only 33 per cent. Congress would form the boards in two of the local bodies while Janata Sena in alliance with the BJP combo will form the board in just one.
AICC general secretary in charge of Rajasthan, Ajay Maken said that the victory of the Congress in the second successive local bodies election proves that the people have voted for the good governance of the Ashok Gehlot regime.
&rdquoCongress is ahead of BJP in 48 out of the 90 local bodies that were BJP&rsquos stronghold. A majority of the Independents have already shown their inclination to support the Congress in forming the boards. This shows the declining popularity of the BJP,&rdquo said Maken.
Now the Congress will go for the four bye-elections for the Vidhan Sabha to retain its three seats and win the fourth seat which was won in 2018 by the BJP.