Raipur: The Congress on Thursday dealt a severe jolt to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) winning seven of the 11 local bodies -- elections to which were held on Monday.
While the BJP, in power in Chhattisgarh for the last 15 years, could manage to win just four Nagar Panchayats, the Congress bagged four Nagar Palika (municipalities) and three Nagar Panchayat (city councils).
Counting in Bhilai municipal corporation was on at the time of filing of this report but there too the Congress's Devendra Yadav was leading in the mayoral contest.
"BJP government has done nothing on the issues of paddy procurement, bonus, ration cards, etc. You can see the result of its inaction in the outcome of the local body polls. This victory will boost the confidence of the Congress," said T.S. Singh Dev, leader of opposition in the Chattisgarh assembly.
Ajit Jogi, another Congress leader and former chief minister, was of the view that while both his party and BJP experienced dissension ahead of the local body polls, the problems on the other side were much more serious.
"Dissension in the BJP was much graver than what happened in Congress. In ticket distribution, we focused only on the names thrown up by the PCC survey. Overall, we did very well in the selection of candidates," he said.
Jogi said Congress doubtless benefited from the dissension in the BJP.
In Baikunthpur, Congress's Ashok jaiswal defeated BJP's Shailesh Shivhar by more than 1,000 votes for the post of mayor. Here the Congress returns to office after 12 years.
In Shivpur Charcha, Congress's Ajit Lakda defeated BJP's Rajesh Singh by 700 votes.
In Rajnandgaon, Congress's Mira Chopra won the Khairagarh Palika presidentship, defeating BJP's Preeti Tamrakar by 900 votes.