In a booster for BJP and its allies ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections scheduled to be held early next year, the alliance won 67 out of 75 seats of the district panchayat chief, voting for which was held on Saturday.
"The BJP+ (BJP and its allies) has won 67 out of 75 seats of zila panchayat chairpersons. For these unprecedented results, I thank the people of the state and hardworking party workers," State BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh said.
Singh further added by saying the success of the party was due to the welfare policies initiated by its government and the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Voting began at 11 am on Saturday
The polling for the seats had begun at 11 am and continued till 3 pm. Meanwhile, a video surfaced on social media, in which former Samajwadi Party MP from Chandauli Ramkishun Yadav can be seen falling at the feet of members of a zila panchayat, allegedly to seek votes for his nephew, prompting UP BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi to take a jibe at his party.
In a Hindi tweet, Tripathi said, "Those (SP) who fled in the past elections were seen falling at the feet of voters and begging for votes. This took place on Friday night."
SP MLC Ashutosh Sinha said Yadav only touched the feet of independent voters.
"Tej Narayan Yadav is the nephew of Ramkishun Yadav. Tej Narayan is supported by the SP for the post of the zila panchayat chairperson," he told PTI. Chairpersons of 22 zila panchayats were declared elected unopposed on Tuesday. Of these, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claimed to have won 21 seats.
The state Election Commission did not announce the party affiliation of the winning candidates.
The panchayat polls or those for district panchayat chiefs are not held on a party symbol but candidates enjoy the tacit support of various parties.
Districts where zila panchayat chairpersons won unopposed
The districts where zila panchayat chairpersons won unopposed are Saharanpur, Bahraich, Etawah, Chitrakoot, Agra, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Amroha, Moradabad, Lalitpur, Jhansi, Banda, Shravasti, Balrampur, Gonda, Gorakhpur, Mau, Varanasi, Pilibhit and Shahjahanpur.
Zila panchayat chiefs are elected from among the elected members of zila panchayats. The four-phase panchayat polls concluded in the state last month.
On Monday, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati had said her party has decided not to contest the zila panchayat chief elections as it wants to channel its energy on strengthening the organisation before the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls next year.
The BSP president asserted that the people of the state want her party to form the next government.
Once the BSP forms its government in the state, the majority of the zila panchayat chairman themselves will join the BSP as they cannot function without power. We have kept this fact in mind and so decided not to contest the election, she had said.
(With inputs from PTI)
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