In Congress-ruled Rajasthan, Congress trails in rural polls, BJP leads
In yet another bout of humiliation for Congress, which is in power in Rajasthan, the party performed poorly in the rural polls. It is said to be trailing in 21 districts where Panchayat Samiti and Zila Parishad elections were held. The opposition BJP maintained a comfortable lead. BJP President JP Nadda basked in the results, saying this shows the people's trust in his party.
BJP has already claimed victory
Elections were held in 222 Panchayat Samitis for a total of 4,371 seats. Reports said BJP has won in 1,989 constituencies. Congress registered wins in 1,852 seats. The remaining 530 seats could be won by independent candidates. Similarly, in Zila Parishad polls, BJP won 353 seats and Congress, 252. The total number of seats which went into polls is 636.
Rural voters have faith in PM Modi: Nadda
Welcoming the results, Nadda tweeted that his party is grateful to the voters. "This victory is a sign of the faith that villages, poor, farmers, and laborers have on Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he wrote in Hindi today. BJP's Rajasthan unit President Satish Poonia claimed Congress Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot misused power, but couldn't turn the results in his party's favor.
In Dungarpur, a much-smaller party defeated both BJP and Congress
Meanwhile, the results of the polls have also put smaller parties in focus. Former BJP leader Hanuman Beniwal's Rashtriya Loktantrik Party is expected to don the hat of a kingmaker in Nagaur. RLP is an ally of BJP. Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) also emerged as winner in Dungarpur, as it beat both BJP and Congress. Rajasthan has 33 districts and polls happened in 21.
Not long ago, Congress performed well in urban body polls
The results serve as a setback for Congress, which often flaunts about its stronghold in rural areas. This is also in deep contrast with Congress' performance in urban body polls when it managed to place its mayor in four municipal corporations, including capital Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Kota. Elections were held for six municipal corporations in October-November.
Battle between Gehlot and Pilot could have spoiled Congress' prospects
Congress might be losing its stronghold in rural areas because of the feud between Gehlot and Sachin Pilot. Earlier this year, the two had a public fallout which almost brought down Gehlot's government. For days both leaders leveled allegations on one another, and the issue was resolved only after Pilot met former Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in August.