BJP is back with a bang in Gujarat. After its victory margin got reduced in the Gujarat Assembly elections, BJP is bouncing back again. Although BJP secured over fifty per cent of the vote-share in the Gujarat assembly elections, but then it got less number of seats as compared to the previous elections. However, in the last few months, the BJP worked strongly to get back its lost clout in the state, and it achieved immense success in that direction. In the 2018 Gujarat Municipal elections, the BJP secured victory over 47 out of 75 municipalities. It showed that the BJP is the first choice in urban areas.
In another setback to the Congress, it lost five district panchayat to the BJP in the recently concluded taluka and panchayat polls. The BJP managed to secure victory over five districts out of 23 districts panchayat that the grand old party had won in 2015. The BJP party also snatched control of 10 taluka panchayats from the Congress party. In district panchayats now the BJP has a tally of 13 against 18 of Congress party. It seems that BJP has done a lot of groundwork to increase their clout, while the Congress seems to be in complete shambles. The Congress’ tally in taluka poll has been reduced to 107 from 129 in 2015. On the other hand the BJP has improved its tally, earlier it had 85 taluka panchayats now it has control over 102 taluka panchayats.
After the defeat in taluka and panchayat poll, the INC did exactly what they are best at, putting the blame on someone else’s shoulder. They blamed BJP’s money and muscle power and also suspended their 32 members of five district panchayat who joined the BJP camp. The INC also claimed that the BJP distributed the amounts between 25 lakh to 2 crores to their district panchayat members for changing sides to help the BJP to retain control over panchayats. Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda alleged, “The BJP to gain power in taluka and districts have given Rs 25 lakh to Rs 2 crore to buy our members”. He also said, “We have already suspended six members from Ahmedabad district panchayat, nine from Dahod, eight in Patal and three each in Mahisagar, Bhavnagar and Vadodara. However, in Vadodara, there have been no change of guard. All 32 members will also face legal cases under anti-defection law.” The state president Jitu Vaghani responded to absurd allegations of the Congress by saying, “If the BJP had tried to take power by other means then we would have won in all district and taluka panchayats. Congress is blaming us for their failure.” To some extent he is right, the Congress does not trust its members, they switched to resort politics even in district panchayat elections.
Instead of doing introspection, Congress is again indulged in the blame game. Their good performance in the assembly elections seems to have been a wasted opportunity now. These elections will set the road for 2019 general elections. The BJP is working well towards that direction but the Congress party is plagued by defection and internal squabbling. The state unit of the Congress party is in complete disarray. It seems things are not going well for the Congress in the run-up to 2019.