A shell-shocked BJP was left searching for answers on Thursday after suffering stunning civic poll reverses in the pocket boroughs of the chief minister and her son, battling allegations of helping a man wanted by the country’s law-enforcing agencies.
Though the BJP managed to win a majority of the posts up for grabs in the civic body elections, the victory was soured by losses in places falling in the constituencies of Vasundhara Raje and Dushyant Singh and also their ancestral place Dholpur.
The CM represents Jhalrapatan assembly constituency in Jhalawar district. But the party won only 10 out of the 25 seats in Jhalrapatan municipality while the Congress bagged 15. In Jhalawar municipal council, the BJP could get only 15 while the Congress secured 20 out of 35 seats. BJP has been ruling in Jhalawar and Jhalrapatan municipal bodies for the last 15 years.
Results of elections to civic bodies were seen as a political test for Raje and her son who are accused of helping tainted former IPL chief Lalit Modi in return for financial benefits. Singh is the Lok Sabha MP from Jhalawar-Baran constituency. BJP also lost the Baran municipal council and Anta municipality under Baran district to Congress.
The party also trailed in Dholpur, home district of Raje, where Congress secured a majority in all three civic bodies of Bari, Dholpur and Rajakhera. Raje belongs to the erstwhile royal family of Dholpur.
In Dholpur municipal council, the Congress won 21 out of total 45 wards while BJP bagged 15.
Dholpur was in news due to a controversy over the ownership of Dholpur city palace. The Congress had alleged that the palace was government property while Singh staked claim to his ownership over the property.
State Congress general secretary and in-charge of municipal polls in Jhalawar, Pankaj Mehta, said the results reflect that Raje and her son have lost trust of the people and they should quit now.
“We were not expecting to win on so many seats but the results show people’s mood towards the governance in the state. The government has paid no attention to roads, water, and other civic amenities in the area,” he said.
Jhalawar municipal council chairperson Usha Yadav, who left BJP and joined Congress in last week of July, said it had become suffocating in the BJP as a few leaders had hijacked the party.
BJP state president Ashok Parnami, however, dismissed the Jhalawar and Dholpur results as result of local issues.
“If we are looking at loss in Jhalawar, we should also credit the CM for massive victory at other places,” said party’s civic polls in-charge Onkar Singh Lakhawat. He said the party has registered victory in Aklera, Bhawanimandi and Pirawa municipalities of Jhalawar district.