Congress Loses All Taluka Panchayats to BJP
Plagued by defection, the Congress lost all its taluka panchayats to the ruling BJP who is working hard to sweep the 2024 general election
Despite whisking away party members to avoid horse trading, Congress has lost all taluka panchayats to BJP. In recent months, the Congress has been bitten by members’ disobedience to the party and defection.
The BJP managed to capture the panchayat bodies, like the way it had done back in 2017 midterm elections owing to Congress’ defection crisis. Congress is now plagued with the same problem. Shaktisinh Gohil, Gujarat Congress president, said the party has taken action against disobedient and defecting members.
“We will seek disqualification of these members from taluka pa and municipalities. If the competent authority of the state government doesn’t take action, we will move the Gujarat High Court and if that doesn’t help, we shall fight it out till the Supreme Court.”
Sources say Congress definitely has a problem, and that is defection, and the party is struggling to stem it. Yajuvendrasinh Jadeja, Congress Kutch district president, said it’s possible Congress members could be buckling due to threats issued by the BJP or pressure the BJP exerts on their jobs, and businesses etc. “We try to give tickets to trustworthy workers. How does one test the character of a party worker in such a milieu?”
Congress saw its fall in Kutch, losing Abdasa and Lakhpat taluka panchayats. BJP now has 10 taluka panchayats, seven municipalities and one district panchayat, as well as six Assembly seats and the Lok Sabha seat in Kutch.
Babu Dudhat, Congress’ Bagasara taluka unit president, believes taluka development officers are not listening because of pressure from the government. “On the other hand, BJP workers are getting their work done just by dialing an officer. This makes it difficult for the Congress to retain people’s support.”
The Gujarat Congress president believes people are attracted to the party in power in the state, thus defections. “However, unlike the BJP, when the Congress was in power in the state, it did not misuse state powers to engineer defections. The anti-defection law will have to be amended to address the present challenges.”
Gohil said the president of a political party should have powers to ascertain if its members have defied the party. However, Bharat Boghra BJP vice president argued that the ruling party was not forcing Congress members to switch sides. He asked how will the Congressmen who fought the BJP for 20 to 30 years buckle under the alleged pressure of some BJP leader or the Enforcement Directorate.