The Congress forged ahead and won four of six mayor posts while the BJP bagged two mayor posts as results were declared after polls on Tuesday. Five of the six new mayors are women.
Elections for posts of mayors to six municipal corporations in Jaipur, Jodhpur and Kota were held on Tuesday.
There was high drama during voting by councillors in the Kota South municipal corporation with Congress and BJP workers indulging in fisticuffs, prompting police to resort to a lathicharge in which several workers from both parties were injured.
All the new mayors took oath of office after results were declared on Tuesday afternoon. They promised to take focus on cleanliness, sanitation and development in their respective areas.
The Congress government had carried out delimitation of wards and created two municipal corporations in Jaipur, Jodhpur and Kota. The Congress said the move was aimed at providing better administration and development while the BJP accused the Congress of dividing the corporations on communal lines.
In the last election, the BJP had formed its board in all the three corporations in Jaipur, Jodhpur and Kota.
Traditionally, BJP has been strong in urban areas and winning the municipal corporation elections. However, after dividing the corporations, the Congress has managed a share in the urban civic bodies.
In Jaipur Heritage municipal corporation, Congress’s Munesh Gurjar won the post of mayor, defeating BJP’s Kusum Yadav. Gurjar got 56 of 100 votes while Yadav got 44 votes.
In Jaipur Greater municipal corporation, BJP’s Soumya Gurjar defeated Congress’s Divya Singh by a margin of 44 votes. Gurjar got 97 votes while Singh managed 53 votes. There are 150 wards in Jaipur Greater municipal corporation.
Jodhpur which is chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s home constituency, saw Congress and BJP win one municipal corporation each. Congress’s Kunti Deora won the Jodhpur North municipal corporation while BJP’s Vanita Seth was elected from Jodhpur South. Deora won 61 of 80 votes while Seth got 45 votes.
In Jodhpur, union minister and Jodhpur MP Gajendra Singh Shekhawat was active in the elections and has once again proved his political acumen by steering the BJP to victory.
On the Kota South seat, workers of the Congress and BJP were involved in a scuffle over an independent councillor. The independent councillor, Lekhraj, arrived with the BJP councillors in a bus. Congress councillors tried to pull Lekhraj, saying the BJP had forcibly taken him into their ranks. There was a scuffle and police lathicharged the workers, injuring several of them.
Eventually, Congress’s Rajiv Agarwal emerged victorious, winning 41 votes while BJP’s Vivek Rajvanshi won 39 votes.
Congress also won on the Kota North seat, with its candidate Manju Mehra defeating BJP’s Santosh Bairwa. Mehra got 50 votes as against Bairwa’s 19 votes.
The BJP’s infighting came to the fore in Kota, which has been a BJP bastion, with a section of leaders close to former chief minister Vasundhara Raje, maintaining distance from the polls.
Polling in 560 wards in the six municipal corporations in the three cities was held in two phases on October 29 and November 1. Results were declared on November 3. The Congress won in 261 wards and the BJP bagged 242 wards while independents emerged victorious in 57 wards.
The Congress got a majority in Jaipur Heritage and Jodhpur North municipal corporations, winning 47 of 100 and 53 of 80 wards.
The BJP won a majority in Jaipur Greater and Jodhpur South, winning 88 of 150 wards and 43 of 80 wards.
The Congress also managed a majority in the Kota North civic body winning 47 of 70 wards while in the 80 seats in Kota South, both parties won 36 wards each in a tightly contested election while independents won eight wards.