MP Civic Polls: BJP Loses 5 Seats to Congress, Riot-Hit Khargone Votes Saffron
The Congress has gained five mayoral seats in Madhya Pradesh, including the RSS strongholds of Gwalior and Morena.
The Quint DAILY
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In a significant political shift, the recently concluded Madhya Pradesh urban body election results improved the Congress’ tally from zero seats in 2015 to five seats out of 16 in 2022, while the BJP won nine seats and one each was won by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and an independent candidate.
The debutants AIMIM and AAP had a bigger impact on the polls than expected. While the AAP won a key mayoral seat of Singrauli, the AIMIM's entry led to the Congress loss in Burhanpur with a close margin.
In the second round of counting in MP urban body elections (Nagriya Nikay Chunav), the Congress won two seats – Rewa and Morena – and the BJP bagged Ratlam and Dewas mayoral seats. In Katni, BJP rebel Preeti Soori trumped other candidates to clinch a decisive victory.
In Madhya Pradesh urban body polls, held in two phases on 6 July and 13 July, elections were held for 413 municipalities, including 16 Nagar Palika Nigam, 99 Nagar Palika Parishads and 298 Nagar Parishads.
With the results for five mayoral seats which went to polls in the second phase on Wednesday, 20 July, the Madhya Pradesh urban body elections have concluded, pointing towards a changing political scenario in the state.
Congress Gaining Momentum, AIMIM & AAP Act as Dampener
The Congress has won a total of five mayoral seats in Madhya Pradesh, including Gwalior and Morena, which are considered to be RSS strongholds.
Congress’s win in Rewa mayoral seat is also being looked at as a major sign of change in Vindhya region. The BJP had secured win in all eight Assembly constituencies of Rewa district as well as the Lok Sabha seat in 2018 and 2019 elections, respectively.
The BJP had made all out effort to win the seat, with Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan conducting two public meetings to campaign for the BJP candidate.
Political experts are attributing the Congress’ win to a sound ticket distribution by state functionaries whereas the BJP’s losses are being seen as a huge dent to the party's standing. However, for both the Congress and the BJP, the entry of AIMIM and AAP is alarming.
On the other hand, the BJP performed well in the riot-hit Khargone, securing victory in 19 out of 33 wards of the municipality, whereas the Congress could only win four wards.
The AIMIM too bagged three councilor posts, taking its tally in the state to seven, including two in Jabalpur and one each in Khandwa and Burhanpur.
“The recent results are clarifying a lot of things, people want a change, not very abruptly but the intent is visible. People have also given a chance to the AAP in Singrauli and have voted for the AIMIM overwhelmingly in Burhanpur and Khandwa. For both the principal parties – Congress and BJP – the road to 2023 elections just got more thorny. But Congress’s morale will be much higher as it gained five seats from its last performance of zero in 2015 while the BJP will have to reassess its tactics,”said a senior journalist from the state.
BJP Downplaying Losses?
In a bid to not give political mileage to the Congress, BJP functionaries in the state have downplayed the losses while highlighting the sweeping victories in nine mayoral seats across the state.
A celebration has been scheduled at party's headquarters in state capital Bhopal after which sources say the party will get into serious assessment mode to figure out what went wrong in the seven mayoral seats where it lost.
After the surprising results of Singrauli mayoral seat in the first phase, where the AAP made its entry, the mayoral seat of Katni took the spotlight in the second round of results, declared on Wednesday.
In Katni, BJP rebel Preeti Soori landed a strong blow to the party as she trounced her opponent Jyoti Dikshit with a margin of more than 5,000 votes.
Katni comes under the parliamentary seat of BJP’s state president VD Sharma.
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