Congress top guns in Gujarat quit after state civic polls rout


Express News Service

MUMBAI:  After the disastrous performance of the party in local body elections, Gujarat Congress chief Amit Chavda and state Congress Legislative Party leader Paresh Dhanani resigned on Tuesday.

According to sources, Congress president Sonia Gandhi has accepted both the resignations.

BJP won clear majority in all 31 district panchayats as well as in 196 of 231 taluka panchayats and 74 of 81 municipalities. Congress, the main opposition party in the state, won clear majority in only one municipality and 18 taluka panchayats.

BJP had won all six municipal corporations where polls were held in the first phase on February 21.

In the second phase where polling was held for district and taluka panchayats as well as municipalities on February 28, BJP won 6,236 of 8,470 seats. Congress won 1,805. New entrants AAP and AIMIM won 42 and 17 seats, respectively.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the party cadre and voters.

“Results of the Nagar Palika, Taluka Panchayat and District Panchayat polls across Gujarat give a crystal clear message — Gujarat is firm with the BJP’s agenda of development and good governance. I bow to the people of Gujarat for the unwavering faith and affection towards BJP,” he tweeted.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the results show that the people of Gujarat have faith in BJP’s development agenda.

“Under the leadership of PM Modi, the country has set a development agenda for the poor, farmer and common people,” he tweeted.

Chavda said people had raised doubts about EVMs and all these things should be probed.

A party spokesperson said it was now up to the top brass of Congress to decide the future course of action.

“Taking the responsibility of the election results as state Congress chief, I have submitted my resignation to party president Sonia Gandhi,” Chavda told reporters, adding that he would work as a common party worker from now on.

The Grand Old Party could win only a few taluka panchayat bodies.

“The election results are totally opposite to what our expectations were. We had received good responses from people during our campaigning but results do not reflect it. People have raised doubts on EVMs and all these things should be probed,” Chavda said.

Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi confirmed that Dhanani has also sent his resignation to the party leadership in Delhi.

“The party leadership has received both the resignations. Now it is up to the party brass to decide on the replacement of these leaders,” Doshi said.

He said the Central leadership of the Congress has asked Chavda and Dhanani to continue on their posts till the time their replacements are announced.

In the first phase of civic polls held last month in Gujarat, the BJP had won all the six municipal corporations.

(With PTI Inputs)

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