The keenly fought elections to the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation (GMC) ended in a tie with BJP and the Congress today winning 16 seats each out of the total of 32, leaving a decision on Mayor and other office bearers through draw of lots. The BJP, which suffered losses in rural civic polls last year, welcomed the tie after counting concluded claiming its support base in the city remains intact.
The opposition Congress, however, said the result showed that the urban voters are also warming up to the party.
“The poll result ended in a tie as both the parties won 16 seats each,” Gandhinagar Collector Ravi Shankar said.
“In case of a tie, mayor and other office bearers will be chosen through a lottery system by pulling out chits from a box,” he said.
In the previous election, Congress had won 18 seats while BJP secured 15. However, the saffron party later snatched power after three Congress councillors switched sides.
Gandhinagar with a total 1.5 lakh electorate has a large number of government employees as voters. The polling was held on Sunday, recording a 52 per cent turn-out voters.
The tie comes as a relief to BJP and Chief Minister Anandiben Patel who is facing challenges like Patel quota agitation, water scarcity and allegations of corruption.
However, Congress, which swept the rural local body polls last year, is upbeat claiming that urban voters are also warming up to the party in Gujarat, where assembly polls are due in 2017.
State BJP president Vijay Rupani said the results showed that the party’s support base is intact in the city.
“We welcome the verdict of the people of Gandhinagar. Our support is intact in the GMC as in the last elections Congress had won 18 seats but we have managed to contain them on 16 seats despite the adverse situation,” Rupani said.
The Congress noted that the fight has ended in a tie in an urban area, generally considered the BJP’s stronghold.
“We accept the verdict of people of Gandhinagar,” Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said, adding “a tie is recorded in the urban area, which is generally considered to be the stronghold of BJP.”
In December last year, BJP had won the elections in six city corporations and gained majority of municipalities, while the Congress swept taluka and district panchayats.
The state Assembly polls are due in the state at the end of 2017.
After the recent delimitation, the number of wards in the city body was fixed at 8, while the number of seats are 32 (4 each in a ward) from the previous 33.