The Congress, which was virtually obliterated from all tiers of power structure in the state after losing almost every election to BJP in the last 12 years under the leadership of then Chief Minister Narendra Modi, termed its performance as 'verdict against BJP government'.

The BJP had held sway over almost all the local bodies earlier in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The civic elections have also assumed significance for the ruling party in the backdrop of Patel quota agitation apart from being the first major political battle for Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.

The Congress is leading in 18 out of 31 district panchayats, gaining a significant edge over BJP, which had won 30 district panchayats in 2010.

In 230 taluka panchayats having a total of 4778 seats, the Congress is leading in 2204 while BJP is ahead in 1798. The BJP has managed to retain its lead in all the six municipal corporations --Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Jamangar and Bhavnagar-- which went to polls last month.

Read more: Gujarat civic polls: Congress hails 'great news' as counting commences

The party is also leading in 34 our of 56 municipalities and Congress in nine. Congres had lifted six municipalities in 2010.

Elated over the trend, state Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki said, "This is a mini-election of sorts for the state, where Congress is winning in majority (rural) areas. This is a verdict against the state government."

Chief Minister Anandiben Patel is to address party workers in the city later in the evening. Voting for six municipal corporations was held on November 22, while that for 31 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats and 56 municipalities on November 29.

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