Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh has claimed to have won the seats of president in 121 of the total 170 janpad panchayats, while the Congress said it has emerged victorious in 89 janpad panchayats.
In the rest 49 janpad panchayats which saw polls, Congress-supported candidates won in 43, while the Gondwana Gantantra Party, a regional outfit, won the seats of president in two and Independents in four, according to BJP sources.
Of the total 313 janpad panchayats in the state, polls were held in 170 on Wednesday for the posts of president and vice-president and counting was taken up immediately after voting and results were declared.
The voting for the remaining 143 janpad panchayats will take place on Thursday, an official said.
These elections were held without party symbols. Elected panchayat members vote to elect the president and vice-president of janpad panchayats.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the BJP has given a "stellar" performance in the polls.
He said in many districts not a single member of the Congress has got elected in these local polls, which come ahead of the state Assembly elections due next year.
The BJP-supported candidates have won 121 janpad panchayat president seats, he said.
Madhya Pradesh Congress media cell chairman KK Mishra claimed candidates supported by his party have captured 89 panchayats.
Mishra claimed local BJP leader Devi Singh Dhurve joined the Congress at Nasrullaganj in Sehore, the home district of the chief minister, as he was not allowed to file nomination and raised slogans in favour of the opposition party.
However, in a late-night development, Dhurve suddenly surfaced at the CM's official residence in the state capital Bhopal and told Chouhan that all talks related to his joining the Congress were baseless.
"I am a dedicated worker of the BJP and I am in the BJP," Dhurve said in a statement.
Chouhan's office also released a photo in which Dhurve was seen along with the chief minister and another leader, a move aimed at debunking the Congress claim.
"Out of the total 170 results announced today, BJP's candidates won the post of president in 121 janpad panchayats and there are many districts in the state where not a single member of the Congress got elected," Chouhan said in a statement.
Congratulating the newly-elected janpad panchayat presidents and vice-presidents, Chouhan said the BJP aims to make blocks and villages self-reliant, while realising the larger goal of making India 'aatmanirbhar' (self-reliant).
The chief minister said the BJP government in the state has carried out a lot of development works in villages, but now it will focus on roads, drainage, anganwadis (women and child care centres), schools and markets, among others.
The government will focus on making villages clean, providing drinking water through tap connections in all households and connecting left-out villages with roads, the CM said.
The BJP had won a majority of posts of corporators in the local and urban body elections held in the first phase on July 6, the results of which were announced on July 17.
The ruling party had, however, lost key mayoral posts in Gwalior, Jabalpur, Chhindwara and Singrauli to the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the 11 civic bodies that went to polls.