Rajasthan: local bodies elections

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This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.


2016: BJP leads

BJP wins civic polls in Raj, Dec 02 2016, The Times of India

BJP recorded its third consecutive victory in local body elections in the country in the backdrop of the Centre's demonetisation initiative when it edged past rival Congress in byelections held for panchayat and municipal seats in Rajasthan.Earlier this week, BJP won the civic elections in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Of the 24 panchayat samiti seats for which bypolls were held in Rajasthan, the ruling BJP won 12 seats, the opposition Congress 10 and independents two. BJP also won two of the three zila parishad seats where polls were held. While BJP won in Banswara and Bhilwara zila parishads, Congress won in Jalore.

Of the 10 municipal council seats in nine districts where polls were held, BJP won five, Congress three and independents two. Polling was held on November 29. State Congress chief Sachin Pilot said, “Bypoll results generally go in favour of the ruling party . Still Congress' performance is satisfactory . Congress has won panchayat samiti seats in Atru (Baran), Srimadhopur (Sikar), Abu Road and Reodar (Sirohi) that were earlier with BJP.“

He added that in bypolls held in the last three years, Congress' voting percentage has improved. “Wherever we lost, the margin was very small. BJP has failed to deliver its promise, so its support is shrinking,“ he said.


Congress ahead of BJP in bypolls for panchayats, municipal bodies

Bhanupratap Singh, Cong surges past BJP in Rajasthan local body polls, December 20, 2017: The Times of India

Congress has surged past BJP in the bypolls for panchayat and municipal bodies held last Sunday in Rajasthan, where assembly polls are due next year. Congress made a clean sweep in the zila parishad bypolls by winning all four wards in Banswara, Bhilwara, Jalore and Karauli districts.

In the bypolls for 27 panchayat samiti member seats across 19 districts, Congress pocketed 16, limiting BJP to 10. The remaining seat went to an Independent. The results of the bypolls, necessitated for several reasons including death, disqualification and resignation of elected members, were declared on Tuesday.

Even as BJP won one seat more than Congress in the municipal bypolls held in 12 districts, the two nagar palika seats that the opposition party won here were from Baran district, part of the Lok Sabha constituency of Dushyant Singh, son of CM Vasundhara Raje.

Before the assembly elections next year, Rajasthan will witness bypolls for two Lok Sabha seats — Ajmer and Alwar — and one assembly seat — Mandalgarh (Bhilwara). Bypolls for these seats have been necessitated due to deaths of three BJP members.


March: Cong sweeps bypolls

March 8, 2018: The Times of India

Opposition Congress outdid the ruling BJP, bagging 20 of the 33 seats of panchayati raj institutions in Rajasthan where bypolls were held. Congress won four of six zilla seats, 12 out of 20 panchayat samiti seats and four of six civic body seats, officials said. The wins follow victories in bypolls to two parliamentary seats and an assembly seat.

Congress was able to double its numbers from 10 to 20, while BJP’s numbers were reduced to 11 from 18 seats. Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot said, “CM Raje accepted defeat in bypolls to parliamentary and assembly seats. The result of local bodies’ bypolls today indicates a farewell to BJP from the state.”


Civic polls: Cong wins 965 wards, BJP 736

Nov 19, 2019: The Times of India

JAIPUR: The ruling Congress secured control over 20 local government bodies out of the 49 where elections were held last week in Rajasthan, with the BJP reaching the majority mark in only six.

The Congress won 965 out of the 2,105 wards in the urban local bodies, leaving the BJP trailing at 736, according to the results declared by the state election office.

The Bahujan Samaj Party won 16 wards, the CPM got three and the Nationalist Congress Party two in the elections held on Saturday, the first municipal polls since the Congress came to power in the state last December.

Altogether, 385 independents won in the polls conducted across 24 of Rajasthan's 33 districts.

The results translated into clear majority for the Congress in 20 of the 49 ULBs. The BJP crossed the halfway mark in six urban bodies and the independents form the majority in 23.

Both the Congress and the BJP claimed they could muster support from independents to control nine or 10 other municipalities, apart from the ones where they emerged as clear winners.

Chief minister Ashok Gehlot said the results were as expected. “It is a matter of happiness that people have given a mandate considering the performance of the government," he told reporters. Apart from 20 urban bodies which went to the Congress, it claimed it is in a position to form the boards in about 10 more with the help of independent candidates.

“This is a resounding victory of the Congress in the urban local bodies election. Out of 49, the Congress will form boards in about 30 municipalities,” Deputy Chief Minister and Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot said.

“Our leaders and workers worked tirelessly for the last seven months and its result is that people have reposed their faith in the Congress,” he said.

He said BJP leader believed that their party has strong roots in urban areas.“But now that myth has been broken,” he added. BJP state president Satish Poonia said his party would control nine ULBs in addition to the six where it scored a majority.

“This is not a major victory of the Congress. We are in a position to form boards in about 15 municipalities, including six where we have got a clear majority,” Poonia said.

In Jhunjhunu district's Pilani nagar palika, independent candidates won 30 of the 35 wards.

The 49 urban local bodies include three municipal corporations, 18 nagar parishads and 28 nagar palikas.

Fourteen candidates were already elected unopposed. Altogether 71.53 per cent of the registered voters exercised their franchise. There were 7,942 contestants, including 2,832 women.


Nov 27, 2019: The Times of India

The ruling Congress in Rajasthan captured 37 of the 49 municipal boards with support from independents while BJP could win just 12 in the mayoral and chairpersons’ elections.

In 36 civic bodies, the candidates won on Congress symbols while in Jaisalmer, the independent candidate who won was supported by Congress.

Mayoral polls were held in the three municipal corporations of Bikaner, Bharatpur and Udaipur. Of these, Congress won in Bharatpur, while Bikaner and Udaipur went to BJP.

Chairpersons were elected in 18 municipal councils and 28 municipalities. In three places, the winners were decided by lottery - two going in favour of Congress and one to BJP. Congress managed to capture boards in Alwar, Bhiwadi and Thanagazi thanks to cross-voting by BJP councilors.

This year’s results are in sharp contrast with the 2014 civic body elections when BJP bagged 40 of the 46 civic bodies. Congress had won just six civic bodies in those polls. TNN


Corporation elections

Shoeb Khan, November 4, 2020: The Times of India

Cong outshines BJP in Rajasthan civic body polls


In the recently-held elections to six newly-formed corporations in Rajasthan, results for which were declared on Tuesday, the governing Congress has won two civic bodies and emerged as the single-largest party in a third, while BJP bagged two and tied with the former in the sixth.

Congress achieved majority in Jodhpur North and Kota North and became the single largest party in Jaipur Heritage. BJP, on the other hand, got majority in Jaipur Greater and Jodhpur South. Both the parties, however, faced a tie in Kota South with 36 seats each in a house of 80.

In a smart move, three city urban bodies, which used to be dominated by BJP, were split by chief minister Ashok Gehlot after coming to power.

“The results of Jaipur, Jodhpur and Kota Municipal Corporation elections are pleasant. Out of the total votes polled in the three corporations, the Congress party got 40.09% votes which is almost 2.5% more than that of BJP. Gratitude and thanks to voters and workers and congratulations to the winning candidates of the Congress Party,” tweeted Gehlot.

Municipal elections

December 14, 2020: The Times of India

After a relatively poor showing in the panchayat and zila parishad polls, the ruling Congress roared back when results of elections to 50 municipal bodies were announced on Sunday. While Congress won 619 of the 1,775 wards in 12 districts, Independents came second winning 595 wards, while rivals BJP had to settle for third winning 549 wards.

Among other contenders, BSP won seven wards, CPM and CPI two each, and RLP one.

Reacting to the results, CM Ashok Gehlot tweeted, “My heartiest congratulations and best wishes to all the candidates who have won the municipality and municipal council elections. I express my gratitude to the people of the state who reposed confidence in the Congress party, leading to its victory…”

Rajasthan Congress president Govind Singh Dotasra said his party was set to form its boards in 41 municipal bodies, while BJP is expected to form the board in nine municipal bodies. “BJP’s blatant lies of sweeping local body polls have been exposed yet again. In the municipal body polls, our party has won 619 seats, while BJP managed to win only 549 seats. In 17 bodies, we are forming our boards without any support, while in the remaining 24 bodies, we will form boards with the support of Independents. Most of them were strategically fielded by us,” said Dotasra.

BJP state president Satish Poonia said the results have gone against Congress. “Both BJP and the Independents constitute for over 60% seats which means the mandate has gone against the Congress.,” he said.

Municipal boards: Cong wins 36, BJP 12

December 21, 2020: The Times of India

In a major boost to Congress party after a relatively poor showing in the recently-concluded panchayat polls, it won in 36 of the 50 municipal bodies, where elections for the posts of chairpersons concluded.

While BJP will form boards in 12 municipal bodies, independents have secured two bodies.

In Jaipur district, Congress party swept 9 of the 10 municipal boards where elections took place, with independent winning one municipal boards, Bagru.

Congress secured municipal bodies in Chaksu, Chomu, Jobner, Kishangarh Renwal, Kotputli, Phulera, Sambhar Lake, Shahpura, and Viratnagar.

Reacting to the victory, state congress president Govind Singh Dotasara tweeted: “Today, after the end of elections for the posts of chairpersons in Rajasthan’s 50 municipal bodies, Congress party formed boards in 36 bodies and BJP with 12 boards could secure only 24% of them. Thanks once again to all Congress workers and leaders for this result, which was expected.” Earlier, Congress had won 619 of the 1,775 wards in 12 districts, independents won 595 wards and BJP secured 549 wards. Congress party is likely to form boards in 41 municipal bodies with the support of independents.

Among other parties, BSP won 7 wards, CPI-M and CPI won two wards each, while Rashtriya Loktantrik Party secured one ward.

Panchayat and Zila Parishad

December 10, 2020: The Times of India

Big blow for Congress in Rajasthan as BJP sweeps local body polls

JAIPUR: In a major upset for Congress, BJP relegated the former to the second position in the Rajasthan local body elections by winning many more seats in both panchayat samitis and zila parishads than the governing party.

BJP won 1,989 seats in the panchayat samiti elections while Congress could win 1,852 seats. Of the total 222 panchayat samitis for which the polls were held, BJP won an absolute majority in 93 panchayat samitis while Congress could win only 81. In 43 panchayat samitis, Independents will call the shots while in five other samitis, smaller parties have won a majority. As per the results announced by the state election commission (SEC) on Wednesday, independents won 439 seats, RLP 60, CPM 26 and BSP five.

The elections were held to 4,371 seats in 222 panchayat samitis and 636 seats in 21 zila parishads.

In zila parishad elections, BJP won 353 seats while Congress had to contend with 252. Independents bagged 18, RLP 10 and CPM two seats. The result of one zila parishad has not been announced yet.

BJP is in a majority in 13 zila parishads and is set to head two more in Nagaur and Barmer with the help of ally RLP. Congress won the remaining five zila parishads.

“This victory is the people’s stamp on BJP’s rural policies. It reflects support for PM Modi’s ideology, laws for farmers and the hard work of BJP workers,” BJP state president Satish Poonia said.

Congress state president Govind Singh Dotasra thanked the candidates for “widening the party’s base” in the panchayat polls. “These results give us motivation to work better in the future. Congress will do better in the upcoming elections by keeping a good synergy between power and organisation,” Dotasra tweeted.

The SEC had conducted elections in the 21 districts of Ajmer, Banswara, Barmer, Bhilwara, Bikaner, Bundi, Chittorgarh, Churu, Dungarpur, Hanumangarh, Jaisalmer, Jalore, Jhalawad, Jhunjhunu, Nagaur, Pali, Pratapgarh, Rajsamand, Sikar, Tonk and Udaipur. The polls were held in four phases on November 23 and 29, December 1 and 5.


Municipal elections

February 1, 2021: The Times of India

Raj civic polls: Cong leads, will need backing of Independents


Congress took a lead over BJP in terms of number of wards won in the municipal elections held in 20 districts, though BJP retained the Ajmer Municipal Corporation with a big margin on Sunday. The incumbent party will, however, have to depend on independent candidates to form governing boards in many of the 90 municipal bodies for which elections were held on January 28, 2021.

Polls could not be held in one of the 3035 wards in the 90 urban bodies due to the death of a Congress candidate in Bhilwara’s Gulabpura Nagar Palika. Of the 3,034 wards for which results were announced, Congress won 1,197 while the BJP won 1,140.

Congress got a clear majority in 19 municipal bodies compared to BJP’s clear majority in 24 bodies, but senior Congress members claimed their party would form governing boards in over 50 of the 90 municipal bodies with the support of independents and smaller parties.

Independents stand in clear majority in nine urban bodies and will be a deciding factor in 37 bodies. Voting for electing chairpersons and governing boards would be held on February 7.

Even as the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party was seen as the third big political force in the state after Congress and BJP because of its performances in the last assembly and general elections, NCP sprung a surprise by surging past RLP and getting majority in two municipal bodies — Newai Nagar Palika in Tonk district and Nokha Nagar Palika in Bikaner district.

Of the five municipal bodies that went to polls in the district, BJP got majority in two, while NCP and independents are in majority in one each.


February 8, 2021: The Times of India

Congress wins 48 chairperson seats in Raj civic polls, BJP 37


The governing Congress in Rajasthan bagged the maximum 48 chairperson seats, restricting arch-rival BJP to 37 in the Urban Local Body (ULB) elections for the post on Sunday. Of the 90 ULBs across the state, chairperson elections were held for 89, and mayoral poll was conducted for one — Ajmer Municipal Corporation — which was pocketed by the saffron party. Of the rest five chairperson seats, Independents were elected unopposed in three, RLP netted one and NCP one.

Elections for the 90 ULBs were held on January 28 and the results were announced on January 31. BJP suffered majorly as it was reduced from 60 ULBs it won in 2015 to 37 ULBs this time. It managed to win only three ULBs out of five in former chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s bastion Jhalawar.

The Congress won the Kuchaman municipality using the controversial hybrid formula, which allows a nonelected person to run for the post chairperson. Party candidate Asif Khan got indirectly elected for the post.

The hybrid formula for local body polls was opposed by former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot and Congress used it to its advantage for the first time.

Congress had a clean sweep in two districts, Hanumangarh and Bundi, while BJP won in Pali. BJP recorded its best performance in AMC by securing 61 votes for its mayor candidate Brajlata Hada. BJP gained support of 13 independents in Ajmer to increase its tally from 48 to 61 in the house of 80.

Two chairmen — BJP’s Surendra (Ladnu municipal body, Nagaur) and Congress’s Sagir Ahmed (Pirawa municipal body, Jhalawar) have had no formal education.

Congress had been exuding confidence about forming governing boards in over 50 ULBs, while BJP was keeping its cards close to its chest. “I predicted much earlier that Congress will form its boards in more than 50 ULBs. Other than the 48 Congress boards, two Independents formed boards with our support. NCP, which formed one board, is part of our national alliance,” said PCC chief Govind Singh Dotasra.

Rural elections

Sep 5, 2021: The Times of India

In a boost for Congress amid the festering internal conflict in Rajasthan, the party on Saturday won 670 panchayat samiti seats to BJP’s 551 in the rural polls held across six districts, reversing the 2015 result when the saffron party — then in government — had emerged victorious. The pattern was repeated in the zila parishad elections, with Congress getting 99 and BJP 90 out of the 200 seats to which polls were held.

Congress had a clear majority in four out of the six zila parishads — Dausa, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Sawai Madhopur — while BJP swept the Sirohi zila parishad. In Bharatpur, there was no outright winner, with BJP getting 17 seats to Congress’ 14 and Independents bagging four. BSP won two seats there.

In the previous elections, BJP had won 584 out of 1,328 panchayat samiti seats, as against 1,564 that were at stake this time. Its last zila parishad tally was 100 to Congress’ 90. Independents comprised the third largest block of winners in the panchayat samiti stakes with 290 seats, leaving Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) a distant fourth with just 40. BSP got 11 seats. Two panchayat samiti seats remain undecided.

The overall turnout across three phases of polling in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bharatpur, Sawai Madhopur, Dausa and Sirohi districts was 64%. Elections were also held to the offices of six district pramukhs and deputy district pramukhs and 78 pradhans and up-pradhans.


2018: minimum education criteria abolished

Raj govt scraps minimum edu criteria for civic poll candidates, December 30, 2018: The Times of India

Rajasthan will once again have direct elections for mayors and chairpersons in urban municipal bodies. The previous Vasundhara Raje government had discontinued the practice introduced by the Ashok Gehlot government of 2008-2013.

The Congress government’s first cabinet meeting held on Saturday also approved to do away with the minimum education qualification required to contest panchayat and urban bodies’ elections. The education criteria was introduced by the previous Vasundhra Raje-led government, which stipulated that for contesting the zila parishad or panchayat samiti polls, a contestant must have a minimum qualification of secondary education (Class X). To contest the sarpanch elections, an aspirant from the general category must have passed Class VIII and a SC/ST aspirant must have passed Class V.

The previous BJP government’s other orders that were reversed by the cabinet on Saturday included reopening of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Law University formed by the Gehlot-government in 2013. The university was shut down by the previous BJP government citing “feasibility issues” on November 25, 2015. Similarly, the Haridev Joshi University of Journalism and Mass Communication, which was founded by the previous Gehlot-government but was shut down by the Raje-government in 2016, will also be reopened.

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