BJP and the Congress won 10 and six of the 16 Zila Parishads for which results were announced so far as the outcome for the remaining 17 Parishads was awaited.
     
Out of 295 Panchayat Samitis, BJP bagged 41 with Congress not far behind winning 31. The Panchayati Raj polls were held in three phases.
    
Of the 6,236 seats in the Samitis, BJP won 937, Congress 740, Independents 124 and BSP five seats, a spokesman of the state Election Commission said.
    
BJP won 174 out of 1,014 Zila Parishad wards while Congress secured 144 and Independents 3. The counting of votes began at 8 AM.
    
BJP won nine Zila Parishads of Chittorgarh, Baran, Jhalawar, Rajsamand, Tonk, Pratapgarh, Sirohi, Churu and Dholpur and Dungarpur, the EC said, adding Congress emerged victorious in Kota, Sawaimadhopur, Jaisalmer, Karauli, Dausa and Bundi.
    
It was the first major electoral test for the parties after the Lok Sabha elections eight months ago when BJP had won all 25 seats. In bypolls held in September last year, BJP had lost three out of four Assembly seats. However, in Civic Bodies polls, BJP had edge over the Opposition Congress by security 4 municipal corporations and scores of municipal bodies late last year.
     
Upbeat over the victory of several Congress candidates, PCC chief Sachin Pilot said the party's vote percentage has increased by at least 15 per cent which was "more than satisfactory for him".
     
"Initial results show that the vote percentage of Congress has increased by 15 per cent while ruling BJP's declined by 9 per cent in the Panchayat elections as compared to the vote share of 2014-Lok Sabha elections," Pilot told reporters at the PCC office here.
    
Panchayat polls were mired in controversy as Rajathan government had issued an ordinance fixing educational qualifications for candidates just days before the poll schedule was announced.
    
The Supreme Court had on January 5 refused to entertain petitions challenging the ordinance, saying the High Court was the forum for addressing these issues.

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