Rajasthan: local bodies elections
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2016: BJP leads
BJP recorded its third consecutive victory in local body elections in the country in the backdrop of the Centre's demonetisation initiative when it edged past rival Congress in byelections held for panchayat and municipal seats in Rajasthan.Earlier this week, BJP won the civic elections in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Of the 24 panchayat samiti seats for which bypolls were held in Rajasthan, the ruling BJP won 12 seats, the opposition Congress 10 and independents two. BJP also won two of the three zila parishad seats where polls were held. While BJP won in Banswara and Bhilwara zila parishads, Congress won in Jalore.
Of the 10 municipal council seats in nine districts where polls were held, BJP won five, Congress three and independents two. Polling was held on November 29. State Congress chief Sachin Pilot said, “Bypoll results generally go in favour of the ruling party . Still Congress' performance is satisfactory . Congress has won panchayat samiti seats in Atru (Baran), Srimadhopur (Sikar), Abu Road and Reodar (Sirohi) that were earlier with BJP.“
He added that in bypolls held in the last three years, Congress' voting percentage has improved. “Wherever we lost, the margin was very small. BJP has failed to deliver its promise, so its support is shrinking,“ he said.
Congress ahead of BJP in bypolls for panchayats, municipal bodies
Congress has surged past BJP in the bypolls for panchayat and municipal bodies held last Sunday in Rajasthan, where assembly polls are due next year. Congress made a clean sweep in the zila parishad bypolls by winning all four wards in Banswara, Bhilwara, Jalore and Karauli districts.
In the bypolls for 27 panchayat samiti member seats across 19 districts, Congress pocketed 16, limiting BJP to 10. The remaining seat went to an Independent. The results of the bypolls, necessitated for several reasons including death, disqualification and resignation of elected members, were declared on Tuesday.
Even as BJP won one seat more than Congress in the municipal bypolls held in 12 districts, the two nagar palika seats that the opposition party won here were from Baran district, part of the Lok Sabha constituency of Dushyant Singh, son of CM Vasundhara Raje.
Before the assembly elections next year, Rajasthan will witness bypolls for two Lok Sabha seats — Ajmer and Alwar — and one assembly seat — Mandalgarh (Bhilwara). Bypolls for these seats have been necessitated due to deaths of three BJP members.
March: Cong sweeps bypolls
Opposition Congress outdid the ruling BJP, bagging 20 of the 33 seats of panchayati raj institutions in Rajasthan where bypolls were held. Congress won four of six zilla seats, 12 out of 20 panchayat samiti seats and four of six civic body seats, officials said. The wins follow victories in bypolls to two parliamentary seats and an assembly seat.
Congress was able to double its numbers from 10 to 20, while BJP’s numbers were reduced to 11 from 18 seats. Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot said, “CM Raje accepted defeat in bypolls to parliamentary and assembly seats. The result of local bodies’ bypolls today indicates a farewell to BJP from the state.”
Civic polls: Cong wins 965 wards, BJP 736
JAIPUR: The ruling Congress secured control over 20 local government bodies out of the 49 where elections were held in Rajasthan, with the BJP reaching the majority mark in only six. The Congress won 965 out of the 2,105 wards in the urban local bodies, leaving the BJP trailing at 736, according to the results declared by the state election office.
The Bahujan Samaj Party won 16 wards, the CPM got three and the Nationalist Congress Party two in the elections held on Saturday, the first municipal polls since the Congress came to power in the state last December.
Altogether, 385 independents won in the polls conducted across 24 of Rajasthan's 33 districts.
The results translated into clear majority for the Congress in 20 of the 49 ULBs. The BJP crossed the halfway mark in six urban bodies and the independents form the majority in 23.
Both the Congress and the BJP claimed they could muster support from independents to control nine or 10 other municipalities, apart from the ones where they emerged as clear winners.
Chief minister Ashok Gehlot said the results were as expected.
“It is a matter of happiness that people have given a mandate considering the performance of the government," he told reporters.
Apart from 20 urban bodies which went to the Congress, it claimed it is in a position to form the boards in about 10 more with the help of independent candidates.
“This is a resounding victory of the Congress in the urban local bodies election. Out of 49, the Congress will form boards in about 30 municipalities,” Deputy Chief Minister and Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot said.
“Our leaders and workers worked tirelessly for the last seven months and its result is that people have reposed their faith in the Congress,” he said.
He said BJP leader believed that their party has strong roots in urban areas.“But now that myth has been broken,” he added.
BJP state president Satish Poonia said his party would control nine ULBs in addition to the six where it scored a majority.
“This is not a major victory of the Congress. We are in a position to form boards in about 15 municipalities, including six where we have got a clear majority,” Poonia said.
In Jhunjhunu district's Pilani nagar palika, independent candidates won 30 of the 35 wards.
The 49 urban local bodies include three municipal corporations, 18 nagar parishads and 28 nagar palikas.
Fourteen candidates were already elected unopposed.
Altogether 71.53 per cent of the registered voters exercised their franchise. There were 7,942 contestants, including 2,832 women.
The ruling Congress in Rajasthan on Tuesday captured 37 of the 49 municipal boards with support from independents while BJP could win just 12 in the mayoral and chairpersons’ elections.
In 36 civic bodies, the candidates won on Congress symbols while in Jaisalmer, the independent candidate who won was supported by Congress.
Mayoral polls were held in the three municipal corporations of Bikaner, Bharatpur and Udaipur. Of these, Congress won in Bharatpur, while Bikaner and Udaipur went to BJP.
Chairpersons were elected in 18 municipal councils and 28 municipalities. In three places, the winners were decided by lottery - two going in favour of Congress and one to BJP. Congress managed to capture boards in Alwar, Bhiwadi and Thanagazi thanks to cross-voting by BJP councilors.
This year’s results are in sharp contrast with the 2014 civic body elections when BJP bagged 40 of the 46 civic bodies. Congress had won just six civic bodies in those polls. TNN
2018: minimum education criteria abolished
Rajasthan will once again have direct elections for mayors and chairpersons in urban municipal bodies. The previous Vasundhara Raje government had discontinued the practice introduced by the Ashok Gehlot government of 2008-2013.
The Congress government’s first cabinet meeting held on Saturday also approved to do away with the minimum education qualification required to contest panchayat and urban bodies’ elections. The education criteria was introduced by the previous Vasundhra Raje-led government, which stipulated that for contesting the zila parishad or panchayat samiti polls, a contestant must have a minimum qualification of secondary education (Class X). To contest the sarpanch elections, an aspirant from the general category must have passed Class VIII and a SC/ST aspirant must have passed Class V.
The previous BJP government’s other orders that were reversed by the cabinet on Saturday included reopening of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Law University formed by the Gehlot-government in 2013. The university was shut down by the previous BJP government citing “feasibility issues” on November 25, 2015. Similarly, the Haridev Joshi University of Journalism and Mass Communication, which was founded by the previous Gehlot-government but was shut down by the Raje-government in 2016, will also be reopened.