BJP makes Congress cut a sorry figure in Rajasthan: Resurgence of saffron
The Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti elections in 21 districts of Rajasthan witnessed a massive turnaround as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has once again trounced the Congress, further depleting the grand old party’s grip in national and local politics.
In 222 Panchayat Samitis in Rajasthan, the BJP has won 1,835 wards while the Congress has managed to win 1,718 wards. Independent candidates won in 422 constituencies.
BJP performed well in Zila Parishad segment too with the win in 312 of the 636. Congress, on the other hand, has won only 239.
With his party racing ahead of the Congress, BJP president J P Nadda asserted that the victory symbolizes the trust of the poor, farmers, and laborers in prime minister Narendra Modi. In a tweet, Nadda expressed his thanks to women, farmers, and other rural voters in the Congress-ruled state for putting "faith" in the BJP.
"We are grateful for the way rural voters, farmers, and women have reposed their faith in us in Rajasthan's Panchayati Raj and Zila Parishad polls. This victory is a sign of the faith that villages, poor, farmers, and laborers have on Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he tweeted in Hindi.
State BJP president Satish Poonia said the party’s performance was “historic” and a “win of the rural development policies of the BJP and of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ideas for farmers”.
For the faction-ridden Rajasthan BJP, the results have come as a much-needed boost.
Former BJP Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje congratulated the winning BJP candidates. "Heartiest congratulations to all the hard-working candidates of the BJP who won the Zila Parishad and Panchayati Samiti elections. Heartfelt thanks also to the people of the state, who have reposed faith in the BJP by denying the false claims of the Congress government," she said in a statement.
The local polls also saw the strong emergence of new parties like former BJP leader Hanuman Beniwal’s Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) which is a BJP ally also. Independents are now expected to play a crucial role in forming panchayat samitis and Zila parishads.
While the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government was hoping to maintain its good run in these elections as the party had performed well in Urban local body polls too in which they went on electing mayors in four out of six municipal corporations, the results on the other hand turn out to be a setback for Congress which claims to have a strong base in rural areas.
Congress bigwigs also had to suffer losses. In Sikar, the hometown of Congress state president Govind Singh Dotasra, the Congress crossed the halfway mark only in Laxmangarh Panchayat Samiti – among the 12 Panchayat Samitis that went to polls in the district. Similarly in Ajmer, the turf of health minister Raghu Sharma, the BJP has won nine of 11 blocks and state Sports Minister Ashok Chandana in Hindoli BJP has won 13 of 23 blocks.
The poor performance of Congress is also the result of the unending friction between Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot, the two most powerful leaders of Congress in Rajasthan. Sachin Pilot was Congress president for over five years in Rajasthan. With his replacement, there is a distinct power vacuum in the Congress's organizational structure and it has affected the party's performance in the rural polls which is quite evident!
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