Surat: The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) retained power of the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) once again after winning 76 seats in a house of 116 in the 2015 civic elections held on November 26, according to the final results announced by the state election commission after counting of votes Wednesday.
The BJP's tally of 76 is 22 seats less than the total 98 seats it had won in the 2010 civic elections.
The Congress has won in 36 wards of the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC), registering an improvement in its tally by a huge 22 seats. The Congress had won just 14 seats in the 2010 civic elections.
The two parties during initial rounds of counting were in neck and neck battle to stake power at the civic body of the diamond city. The BJP however surged ahead of the Congress, as per trends at 02:15 pm.
Counting of votes for the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) 2015 elections began exactly at 09:00 today morning amid tight security.
Along with the counting of votes for the Surat civic body, counting of votes also began in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar.
Surat Municipal Corporation is a local self government which came into being under the provisions of the Bombay Provincial Municipal Act, 1949 carries out all the obligatory & discretionary functions prescribed thereunder.
The General Board is the supreme body of the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) constituted by elected members from each wards. Three members are elected from each ward hence the 38 wards makes a total of 116 councillors. One third of the seats are reserved for ladies. Its term is for a five year duration after which elections are held once again.
Election to elect the new corporators for the 116-member Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) was held on November 26, 2015 along with Ahemdabad Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar civic bodies.
The six municipal corporations registered only 45 per cent voter turn-out, but elsewhere it was over 60 per cent. The State Election Commission had made all the preparations for the counting at several places across the state, officials said.
The elections are being seen as a challenge for the BJP and Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, as they come after the Patel quota stir. These are also the first major elections in the state after Anandiben took over from Narendra Modi.
The Congress is hoping to make a comeback in the state, cashing in on resentment of the Patel community against the BJP. Patel leaders who are demanding inclusion in the Other Backward Classes or OBC quota had appealed the community members to vote against the BJP and for Congress ahead of the elections.
All the six municipal corporations - Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar, and Bhavnagar - are at present controlled by the BJP. Most of the other local bodies in rural and semi-urban areas too are controlled by the BJP.
Meanwhile, the State Election Commission today conducted re-polling at a booth each in Dahod and Mahisagar districts.
"Some people had stormed into a booth in Ghodiya village of Zalod tehsil in Dahod and broke the EVM machine when polling was underway for district and taluka panchayats last Sunday. Similar incident took place in Nani Bhugedi village of Santrampur in Mahisagar. So we are conducting repolling today," said SEC secretary M V Joshi.
Ghodiya has 854 registered voters while Nani Bhugedi has 921 registered voters.