The BJP on Friday raced past the Congress in Rajasthan civic body polls capturing power in 57 of the 126 municipal bodies and relegating the ruling party to the second position with a tally of 49.
The BJP won 57 posts of chairpersons, Congress 49, BSP two, NCP one and Independents 17, state Election Commissioner A K Pandey said.
The party maintained its winning run in the election to the posts of ward councillors as well emerging victorious in 1071 out of 2707 wards whose results have been declared so far, said the official.
Congress has won in 1025 wards, Independents 574, NCP-21, BSP-14, and CPI-M 2, he said.
In the last civic body polls held in the state in 2005 with Vasundhara Raje at the helm, the BJP had formed 81 municipal boards, the Congress 33, and Independents-17.
Reacting to her party's impressive show in a jubiliant mood, BJP General Secretary and former chief minister Vasundhara Raje congratulated party workers saying that the results were an indication that the reverse countdown for the Gehlot government had begun.
"The electorate have rejected the Gehlot government's misrule of the last 20 months", Raje commented in a statement in Jaipur.
"Janta Gehlot raj ke kushashan se tang aachuki hai" (People are tired of Gehlot's misrule)", she alleged.
Despite misusing official machinery the Congress candidates could not win as the party and the government both lost public mandate, she said.
At a press conference the BJP state president Arun Chaturvedi said it was the worst defeat of the ruling Congress party as its four union ministers Mahadev Singh Khadela in Sikar, Namonarayan Meena in Tonk, C P Joshi in Bhilwara, and Sachin Pilot in Ajmer could not enable their candidates to win chairpersons' posts.
Similary about 15 ministers of the Gehlot government tried their best to boost the morale of Congress candidates but failed miserably, Chaturvedi said.
When contacted a PCC Spokesman said as compared to the previous civic election in 2005, the Congress gained 33 to 49, while BJP lost 27 chairpersons' posts.