BJP, Cong express confidence of winning Guj local polls

Ahmedabad: The ruling BJP as well as the opposition Congress today expressed confidence of winning the local bodies polls in Gujarat, which are scheduled to be held on November 22 and 29.

The Gujarat State Election Commission(SEC) today announced elections to various local bodies, including six municipal corporations. The announcement comes two days after Gujarat High Court ordered the SEC to conduct the local body polls before the expiry of their terms after quashing an ordinance issued by the state government to pave way to delay local bodies polls.

With the Patel quota agitation still rocking the state, the upcoming elections will test the ruling BJP’s popularity in Gujarat, even as the opposition Congress hopes to benefit due to the stir.

Calling it a victory of 6.5 crore citizens of Gujarat, Congress spokesperson Nishith Vyas, said, “BJP-led government was not in favour of holding elections as they had fear of losing the polls. We want to thank the judiciary for intervening in this matter and compelling the government to announce polls.”

Meanwhile, Congress leader from Vadodara Narendra Ravat has opposed the polls in six municipal corporations and 56 municipalities, citing a Supreme Court order.

Ravat now plans to file a contempt petition in the apex court against the SEC for announcing polls by overriding the stay imposed by Supreme Court.

Earlier, a Vadodara resident, having support of Ravat, filed a petition in the Supreme Court against multiple representative system introduced by SEC in one ward after recent delimitation in corporations and municipalities.

Ravat said he welcomes the announcement of polls on various local bodies.

“But, the Supreme Court has already put a stay on the polls in urban local bodies after we filed a petition. We want that there should be only one representative per ward instead of new system of having four per ward,” he said.

The Congress leader said he has any problem if the polls were held in district and taluka panchayats. “But, SEC misinterpreted the Supreme Court judgment and declared elections for corporations and municipalities.”

“Therefore, I have taken my party’s consent and will file a contempt petition in the Supreme Court on Monday against the urban local bodies polls. We only want that the SEC hold elections as per the old system of one representative per ward,” Ravat said