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Prime Minister Narendra Modi also hailed BJP's victory in Maharashtra's local body polls as a win for pro-poor and development politics and thanked people of the state for placing their faith in the party.

"BJP's victory in Gujarat can be seen as people's endorsement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two recent steps - surgical strikes across LoC and the demonetisation move to wipe out black money from the system", PTI quoted him as saying.

Two municipalities - Vapi in Valsad district and Kanakpur Kansad in Surat - had voted in the November 27 polls along with a taluka panchayat in Rajkot, apart from dozens of other seats across the state were byelections were held. "These results across India illustrate that people want all-round progress of the nation and will not tolerate corruption and misgovernance", Modi tweeted.

The BJP made a comeback in Gondal taluka panchayat, a hub of Patidars.

"Be it North East, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat. the BJP has performed very well. Their grassroot level work ensured people place their valued trust in BJP", Modi said.

The results of the panchayat elections past year, in which the rural areas were wrested by the Congress from the BJP, had forced the ruling party to rethink its strategy. Polling was also held for the mid-term elections of Gondal taluka panchayat, general elections of two municipalities and by-elections of four district panchayats and 15 taluka panchayats.

Political observers said Fadnavis had done well to consolidate the party's base in semi-urban centres. "We will continue to raise issues concerning people", Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said. The BJP won 23 of the 31 seats. In 2011, adds the report, "The NCP and the Congress were no. 1 and 2 with 950 and 771 seats, respectively". The opposition's calculations seemed to have gone horribly wrong as the saffron brigade was a clear victor in the local body polls, which mostly covered rural and semi-urban areas. But BJP must not forget that it was only bypolls in some seats.

In the elections, where opposition parties went in strong on the demonetisation issue, trends and results from around the state show BJP making inroads into these typically Congress and NCP strongholds. We will introspect on these results.

A day after BJP posted significant victories in the crucial municipal council elections across Maharashtra, an open war is on between Congress and NCP over the second position. "It was the by-elections and people's reactions are mixed due to local reasons", said Bharatsinh Solanki, state Congress chief.


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