After its stunning performance in GHMC and UP MLC elections, BJP has outsmarted the Congress party in Rajasthan local body polls. Even though the Congress was expecting a victory since the party is in power in the state, the election result has surprised the top brass. The fraction ridden Congress will find it hard to keep its leaders together following its poor performance in the rural polls. Out of the 4,371 panchayat samithi posts, BJP won 1833 while Congress could win only 1,713 posts. While BJP won 265 Zila Parishad posts, Congress could grab only 201 seats.
The State BJP president Satish Poonia said the party had bucked the trend of the ruling party winning local polls in the state, and described the BJP’s performance as “historic” and a “win of the rural development policies of the BJP and of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ideas for farmers”. He also pointed out that “this win comes at a time when the ruling Congress government in Rajasthan is enforcing Bharat Bandh against the (Centre’s) policies for farmers”.
Congress lost many of its heavyweight’s home turfs. 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, BJP won 123 constituencies out of 213 in 11 panchayat samitis, compared to 72 by the Congress. The party also faced loss in the constituencies of ministers Shale Mohammad, Ashok Chanda and deputy chief whip Mahendra Chaudhary.
With the warring factions of Ashok Gehlot and the Sachin Pilot still at loggerheads, the local poll result gives BJP confidence to wrestle Rajasthan from the Congress when the state goes for polls in 2023.