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Junagadh:  PM Narendra Modi's BJP today stormed the last urban Congress citadel in Gujarat, winning 41 of the 60 seats in the Junagadh municipal corporation. It has not only wrested back the Junagadh civic body that it lost to the Congress in 2009, but now also controls all eight municipal corporations in the state. 

The BJP already controls more than 75 per cent of the nagarpalikas or 120 in Gujarat and in the recent general elections had won all 26 Lok Sabha seats in the state, which has given the country its new Prime Minister.

The Congress' diminution is now more or less complete. The BJP had earlier wrested the Gandhinagar municipal corporation from it. 

In the state assembly, the Congress holds only 55 seats; in elections held in December 2012, Mr Modi had won a fourth successive term as chief minister with the BJP winning 117 of the 182 seats in the Gujarat assembly. 

Junagadh in Saurashtra has been seen as a Congress stronghold. The civic polls were also being watched closely because these are the first elections in many years that were held with a person other than Mr Modi in the chief minister's chair. For Anandiben Patel, the successor that Mr Modi handpicked in May this year, the emphatic victory is an important validation. 

Ms Patel, the first woman chief minister of Gujarat, now will also be expected to ensure a sweep of the by-elections to be held for nine assembly and one Lok Sabha seat later this year. The Lok Sabha seat is Vadodara, which Mr Modi vacated after the elections. The Prime Minster chose to represent Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha, after contesting and winning two seats. 

Among the nine Gujarat assembly seats for which by-elections will be held is Maninagar, which Mr Modi also vacated as he headed to Delhi.    

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