Kalim Siddiqui | India Tomorrow
AHMEDABAD–The people of Gujarat have once again given a historic mandate to the ruling BJP in Municipal and Panchayat elections.
BJP has won 90 percent seats in Gujarat local polls. It is the biggest victory for the party since Jan Sangh days. Gujarat has always been a BJP stronghold, but the verdict in 2021 has been historic in many ways. In 2010, BJP had won 77 percent seats.
81 Municipal Committees
31 Zila Panchayats
231 Taluqa (Tehsil) Panchayats
Congress has always held smaller groups responsible for the defeat. Since 1995, BJP is on a winning streak in the state. In 2014 and 2019, BJP won all 29 Lok Sabha seats. In 2017, due to the caste movement, Congress had been able to make some gains, but it could not grab power.
After success in Bihar polls, Asaduddin Owaisi led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) entered into an alliance with Bharatiya Tribal Party and participated in Gujarat local polls. Congress again alleged that Owaisi is a BJP agent and AIMIM is the saffron party’s B team. Other groups too accused Owaisi of having a truck with BJP.
Secular groups said had Owaisi not jumped into the fray, the results would have been different. After Congress’s crushing defeat, AIMIM and AAP have been able to gain a foothold in Gujarat. AIMIM had fielded 21 candidates in Ahmadabad Municipal polls, of whom seven won. The party won three seats each in Jamalpur and Maktampur, while it came at number two in Behrampur and Gomtipur wards.
In Daryapur and Khadiya, AIMIM came at number three. Khadiya has been a stronghold of BJP since the Jan Sangh days. “In Daryapur, 10000 Hindus displayed communal harmony and voted for Congress. As a result, all four candidates of the party won. I won third time because Hindus voted for me,” said Gayasudidn Sheikh, Congress MLA from Daryapur.
Imtiyaz Sheikh of Congress got 20867 votes
Nirav Bakshi of Congress got 19759 votes
Sameera Sheikh of Congress got 17669 votes
Madhuri Kalpi of Congress got 16759 votes (reserved seat)
Jairam Desai of BJP got 17584 votes
Bharat Bavaskar of BJP got 15459 votes
Naina Goyal of BJP got 17188 votes
Vibhuti Paramar of BJP got 15075 votes (reserved seat)
Farhan Sayeed of AIMIM got 9596 votes
Sameer Sheikh of AIMIM got 8768 votes
“AIMIM candidates were weak. Imtiyaz Sheikh has been a Congress party worker for 25 years. Hindu Muslim voters live together. Congress’ Muslim corporator has been working in Hindu areas. Similarly, Congress’ Hindu corporator has been working in Muslim areas. With the result, both Hindus and Muslims voted for Congress,” said Ikram Beg Mirza of Welfare Party of India.
Likewise, in BJP’s stronghold of Khadiya, Hindus voted for Congress. Though AIMIM got 7000 votes, Congress lost by just 2000 votes. Despite the AIMIM wave, Congress won Gomtipur and Berhampur. Congress got just 24 seats in 196-member Ahmadabad Municipality. Of whom 11 are Muslims.
After Ahmadabad, AIMIM recorded the biggest victory in Modasa Municipal Corporation. Of the 36 seats, BJP won 19, AIMIM won nine, and Congress 8. AIMIM had fielded only 12 candidates. “BJP did not reap any benefit because of AIMIM. On some seats in Modasa, BJP candidates lost their deposits,” said AIMIM general secretary Hamid Bhati.
AIMIM state president Sabir Bhai Kabuliwala said Majlis will be the main opposition in Modasa. “In Godhra, no party has got Majority. We will be able to gab power in Godhra Municipal Corporation with the help of independents. . In 2022 assembly polls, we will win 45 to 50 seats,” he said.