The ruling Congress has registered a big victory in polls held in 15 urban bodies of Chhattisgarh, winning 174 of 300 wards for which counting has been completed, leaving behind the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with 89, a poll official said here on Thursday.
The counting of votes polled in 15 urban bodies and for bypolls in 15 wards on Monday began at 9 am at 29 counting centres on Thursday, he said. Reacting to the results declared so far, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said they indicate the success of welfare schemes launched by his government.
The results declared by the State Election Commission (SEC) for 300 of the total 370 wards in 15 urban bodies, showed Congress candidates emerging victorious in 174 wards, the BJP in 89, the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) in 6 and independents in 31.
The outcome for the remaining 70 wards, which fall in the prominent Bhilai Municipal Corporation of Durg district, was yet to be officially declared as the counting was underway, the official said.
However, trends available for 70 wards indicate the ruling party had an edge over the BJP. Of these 70 wards, the Congress was leading in 37 (rpt 37), the BJP 24 (rpt 24), others in 8 and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in 1.
Congress MLA Devendra Yadav is the incumbent Mayor of the Bhilai Municipal Corporation.
Out of 40 wards in the Birgaon Municipal Corporation in Raipur district, the Congress has won 19 and the BJP 10, while the JCC(J) and Independent candidates emerged winners in 5 and 6 wards, respectively.
In the results of bypolls held in 15 wards spread across 13 urban bodies, the Congress bagged 11 and the BJP 1, while independent candidates emerged winners in the remaining 3. Mayors and chairpersons of urban bodies will be elected by corporators.
While the Congress believes the urban people have reposed faith in its government for the work done in the last three years, the opposition BJP claims the civic polls results indicate the ruling dispensation is losing trust among people.
“Results in all municipal bodies are in favour of the Congress. This results show the success of public welfare schemes of the state government. People have shown faith in three years of the Congress rule in the state and given their mandate in favour of the party,” Chief Minister Baghel said.
He thanked voters and congratulated winners and party workers. Baghel was talking to reporters at the Swami Vivekanand Airport in Raipur after arriving from poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, where he addressed four rallies on Wednesday and Thursday.
Baghel has been appointed a senior observer by the Congress for the UP assembly elections scheduled early next year. State Congress president Mohan Markam said the credit for the victory goes to hard work of party workers.
People have given their consent to welfare schemes of the state government and their effective implementation, he added.
State BJP president Vishnudeo Sai claimed, “The results show the Bhupesh government has become unpopular and it is the beginning of a Congress-free Chhattisgarh. The good response of the voters to the BJP in this election reflects that people's' trust in this government is declining”.
"We respect the people's mandate and BJP workers will go to the assembly elections (scheduled in 2023) with its full vigor to make the state Congress- free, he added.
With inputs from PTI.