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Gandhinagar civic poll ends in tie, draw of lots to decide Mayor

The keenly fought elections to the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation (GMC) ended in a tie with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress winning 16 seats each out of the total of 32, leaving a decision on Mayor and other office-bearers through draw of lots.

The BJP, which suffered losses in rural civic polls last year, welcomed the tie after counting concluded claiming its support base in the city remains intact.

The Opposition Congress, however, said the result showed that the urban voters were also warming up to the party.

“The poll result ended in a tie as both the parties won 16 seats each,” Gandhinagar Collector Ravi Shankar said. “In case of a tie, Mayor and other office-bearers will be chosen through a lottery system by pulling out chits from a box,” he said.

In the previous election, the Congress had won 18 seats while the BJP had secured 15. However, the saffron party later snatched power after three Congress councillors switched sides.

Gandhinagar with a total 1.5 lakh electorate has a large number of government employees as voters. The polling was held on Sunday, recording a 52 per cent turnout.

The tie comes as a relief to the BJP and Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, who is facing challenges such as Patel quota agitation, water scarcity and allegations of corruption.

However, the Congress, which swept the rural local body polls last year, is upbeat claiming that urban voters are warming up to the party in Gujarat, where Assembly polls are due in 2017.

State BJP president Vijay Rupani said the results showed that the party’s support base is intact in the city.
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