Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot
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Jaipur

A tight tussle is on to form boards in 45 of the 90 urban local bodies in Rajasthan where no one has a clear majority with the Congress and the BJP placing elected candidates under ‘political’ quarantine to avoid poaching and cross-voting.

In Newai municipal council in Tonk, the constituency of former deputy CM Sachin Pilot, 17 councillors who won the elections on NCP tickets, switched loyalties and joined the BJP on Monday. All the councillors had rebelled from the Congress and contested on NCP tickets.

Independents have emerged king-makers in the municipal elections, winning a majority in 46 of 90 urban local bodies where elections were held on January 28 and results were declared on Monday. The ruling Congress won 20 municipal bodies while the BJP emerged victorious in 24.

Elections for 3,064 wards spread across 20 districts and 90 municipal bodies were held on January 28 in the second phase of the polls. The Congress won a slim majority over the BJP, winning 1,197 wards while the BJP emerged victorious on 1,140. Independents won 631 wards, the NCP won 46 and the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party won 13, the CPIM 3 and the BSP won one.

In 45 municipal bodies where no one had a clear majority, the BJP, Congress and independents are making efforts to form their boards. The BJP and the Congress have shifted their winning candidates to safe locations to prevent poaching.

Talks of political appointments heat up

Rajasthan in-charge Ajay Maken was to reach Jaipur on Tuesday, giving rise to the speculation of political appointments ahead of the budget session in the Rajasthan assembly that will begin on February 10.

Maken on Wednesday will hold consultations with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, state Congress president Govind Singh Dotasara and former deputy CM Sachin Pilot.

Sources said a list of 10-12 political appointments has been prepared which could be announced after talks with all the leaders. Speculations are rife a cabinet expansion could be in the offing.

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