The BJP on Wednesday extended its dominance in Madhya Pradesh with a thumping victory in the urban body elections, winning the post of mayor in four cities including the Congress bastion of Chhindwara.
With Wednesday’s victory, the saffron party extended its winning streak dating back to 2003 when it ousted Digvijay Singh’s Congress government in the state.
Polling for the civic bodies was held on January 31 to elect 4 mayors, 7 presidents and 372 corporators in 11 municipal corporations and municipal councils.
Read:Saffron sweep in Bhopal sees BJP take council, mayor's seat
For the Congress, the defeat in Chhindwara will rankle the most as it was one of the only two seats it had won in last year’s Lok Sabha elections.
Chhindwara, which witnessed it first civic poll after being elevated as a municipal corporation, is represented by Congress leader Kamal Nath who has been winning the seat since 1980 except once.
With Wednesday’s strong showing, the BJP now rules all the 14 municipal corporations, 43 municipalities out of 71 and 119 municipal councils out of 204.
"The victory of the BJP in assembly elections, Lok Sabha elections and urban body polls is the result of a positive vote by (the) people on the BJP’s people-friendly policies," said state BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan.
The party’s winning mayors are Alok Sharma in Bhopal, Malini Gaud in Indore, Swati Godbole in Jabalpur and get Kanta Sadarang in Chhindwara.
Indore, incidentally, got its second woman mayor since 1956.
Analysts attributed the BJP’s win to the people’s faith on chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who was the lone star campaigner of the show.
For the Congress, marred by infighting and rumblings of discontent, the results mean further trouble.
A section of party workers said that the leadership did not take interest in campaigning and failed to control dissension.
The party, however, managed to win the nagar parishads in Vankhedi (Hoshangabad district) and Shamshabad (Vidisha district) while Badauni in Datia district, Patera in Damoh and Chhapiheda in Rajgarh district went to the BJP.
Madhya Pradesh Congress president Arun Yadav said the results would motivate the party to take a pledge for working hard in future.
Congress state vice-president Manak Agarwal alleged that the BJP misused the official machinery to win the polls.
Read:Tomar congratulates MP BJP for victory