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BJP sweeps Ahmedabad civic polls

October 15, 2005 23:47 IST

Gujarat's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday wrested control of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation with an emphatic victory that upstaged Congress' bid to retain the civic body for a second term.

The victory is seen as a huge boost to Chief Minster Narendra Modi, who has been plagued by dissidence within the state unit.

The BJP won 96 of the 129 AMC seats, including the three seats of Danilimda ward, considered to be a traditional Congress strong-hold.

Resident Deputy Collector of the city M D Modiya said the Congress finished with 32 seats and one seat went to an independent candidate.

The Congress, which had come to power by ending 13 years of BJP rule in AMC in 2000, could not repeat their performance in the last AMC polls where BJP had managed only 58 seats.

Modi had almost single-handedly led an intensive campaign for the civic poll through his `Jansampark Yatra'.

Observers also say the victory will be a snub to former chief minister and Modi baiter Keshubhai Patel, the hard-line Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, all of whom were against Modi.

Also, the morale of the party in the state was at a low after conceding 12 of the 26 Lok Sabha seats to Congress last year.

A jubilant Modi said at Gandhinagar that the result was a 'loss to Congress party president Sonia Gandhi as her close aide Ahmed Patel had camped in the city to ensure victory for their party'.

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