In a shot in the arm for Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), its candidate Mohammad Furqan won the mayoral contest in Aligarh even as the BJP otherwise dominated the civic polls in the state.
Furqan defeated BJP candidate Rajiv Agarwal by a margin of 11,990 votes in what was virtually a direct contest to become the first Muslim to occupy the post after independence.
The BSP candidate's victory is significant as the Mayawati-led party was badly mauled in the state Assembly elections earlier this year.
Traditionally, Aligarh has been a bastion of the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), which has never lost this seat ever since the system of direct voting was introduced for the mayoral post in 1995. The saffron party bagged this post in all the four previous elections.
Aligarh city has since the past quarter of a century mostly witnessed direct contests between the BJP and the Samajwadi Party, with the 3rd and 4th place going either to the Congress or the BSP.
This election also marks a new low for the SP whose candidate Mujahid Kidwai lagged behind even the Congress and ended up in the fourth position securing just about 16,000 votes.