Counting of votes begins for Gujarat local bodies polls

Ahmedabad: The counting of votes for the crucial local bodies polls in Gujarat, which is seen as a litmus test for the BJP against the backdrop of Patel quota stir, started across the state today.

The voting for six municipal corporations was held on November 26, while that for 31 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats and 56 municipalities was held on November 29.

Though the voting for the six municipal corporations was as low as 45 per cent, for other semi-urban and rural bodies it was over 60 per cent. For the BJP and state Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, the polls are being seen as a challenge as they were held after the Patel quota stir and in absence of Narendra Modi.

The Congress is hoping to make a comeback in the state, riding on the Patel quota agitation. The Patel leaders, who had launched a stir for inclusion under OBC category for reservation, had during the poll campaign told their community members to vote against the BJP, and in favour of the Congress.

The six municipal corporation where the elections were held are – Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar. All these are at present held by the BJP. Most of the other local bodies where elections were conducted are also held by the BJP.