Kheda, Banaskantha panchayat elections pass off peacefully

Polling in district and taluka panchayat elections in Kheda and Banaskantha passed off peacefully on Sunday. The final figure of voter turnout was awaited, said collectors of the two districts. Results will be declared on February 19.

By-elections were also held in some talukas, said a State Election Commission communique.

According to tentative figures supplied by district officials, Bansakantha registered 63 per cent polling in the day. In Kheda, 52 per cent voter turnout was recorded by late afternoon, said district collector S K Langa.

Both the districts are represented by the Congress in Lok Sabha — Dinsha Patel in Kheda and Mukesh Gadhvi in Banaskantha. But while the Banaskantha district panchayat is ruled by the Congress, Kheda district panchayat is under the BJP.

Election was countermanded in taluka panchayat seat of Vasna in Banaskantha owing to death of BJP candidate Kanabhai Padhiar on February 16.

The result in Banaskantha will ascertain the worth of Dalsang Patel and Mavji Dhukh, who quit the Congress recently to join the BJP. Patel was president of the Banaskantha district panchayat.

It remains to be seen if the two will be able to help the BJP in wresting control of the panchayat body from the Congress.

The BJP has already won unopposed Deodar seat in Banaskantha and over half a dozen taluka panchayat seats. The Congress, on the other hand, has won two taluka panchayat seats unopposed in Amirgadh taluka in Banaskantha, according to Election Commission sources.

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