The Yogi Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday registered an emphatic win in the recently-concluded local body elections. Of the 652 seats for which trends were available, the BJP was either leading or had won 341 seats, beating rival parties by a distance.
The BSP emerged as the second big force in the civic elections, with the party bagging 116 seats, as per trends and results at the time of filing this report. The Samajwadi Party, which BJP uprooted from power less than a year ago, came in at third position with 81 seats while the Congress finished fourth with 19 seats.
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Interestingly, independent candidates and smaller parties have bagged 95 seats.
2019 Lok Sabha elections next, says a confident Adityanath
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today credited the strategic prowess of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah for the BJP’s emphatic win in the civic polls and said that the party would work to achieve better success in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“BJP will positively move forward to achieve 100 per cent success in 2019 elections,” CM Adityanath said.
“BJP's historic win in municipal elections is the result of the strategic prowess of PM Modi and BJP president Amit Shah,” the chief minister said, adding that he was thankful to the workers and office-bearers of the party, his ministerial colleagues in the state and the people of Uttar Pradesh for ensuring BJP's spectacular win.
“I also thank the police, administration and paramilitary forces for ensuring peaceful elections in the state,” CM Adityanath said.
The polls were seen as CM Adityanath’s first acid test after coming to power with a brute majority. He had criss-crossed the state days ahead of polls to campaign for the party candidates and is believed to have played a key role in the BJP’s win.
Opposition leaders had ctiticised the aggressive campaign by the Chief Minister, saying that the BJP feared a backlash and was trying to minimize the damage. The BJP, however, countered the criticism, saying those who were afraid were the ones who refrained from going in the midst of the people.
Congress loses Amethi ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s coronation
In a jibe at the Congress that finished fourth in the polls, Adityanath said that those seeking answers in Gujarat over the BJP government’s performance could not open their account in Amethi.
The CM was referring to the drubbing Congress received in party vice president Rahul Gandhi’s parliamentary constituency. The candidates fielded by Congress in Amethi were trailing in all the Nagar Panchayat seats during vote count.
While the party had not fielded any candidate from Amethi town, its candidate from Jais was at a poor fourth after several rounds of counting. In Musafirkhana, an independent Brajesh Agrahari was leading, while in Gauriganj, Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Rajpati Devi was ahead of her rivals.
BJP candidate Mahesh Sonkar was leading in Jais while BJP's Chandrama Devi secured 991 votes in Amethi Nagar Panchayat chairpersons seat. Congress finished even behind independent candidates in its bastion.
BJP bags 14 out of 16 Mayor seats
As per the trends and results available, the BJP has won 14 of the 16 mayoral seats while the Bahujan Samaj Party managed to win two.
In the counting that was held on Friday, BJP emerged winner in Ghaziabad, Lucknow, Ayodhya, Gorakhpur, Moradabad, Jhansi, Varanasi, Bareilly, Allahabad, Kanpur, Mathura, Agra, Varanasi, Saharanpur and Firozabad.
The BSP, on the other hand, bagged Meerut and Aligarh.
In 2012 civic polls, there were only 12 Municipal Corporations. The BJP had swept the urban local body elections at that time too winning 10 of 12 mayoral posts. BJP candidates had won mayoral elections in Ghaziabad, Lucknow, Kanpur, Meerut, Agra, Gorakhpur, Moradabad, Aligarh, Jhansi and Varanasi municipal corporations.
Saharanpur and Firozabad were added by the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government. The BJP government later added another two to the list -- Faizabad and Mathura -- taking the count to 16.
BSP signals revival, SP finishes third
The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party which had been repeatedly rendered ineffective in previous poll results, emerged as the only party besides the BJP to touch the three-figure mark.
Significantly, it has managed to uproot its bitter rival Samajwadi Party to claim the second spot in the municipal elections. The BSP has so far bagged 116 of the 652 seats and managed to win two Mayor seats as well.
The development assumes significance for the Akhilesh Yadav-led SP, which had been ousted from power a mere seven months ago. Though it managed to bag 81 seats, losing to BSP is sure to pinch it. Notably, neither Akhilesh nor Mayawati campaigned for their party candidates in the polls that went by.
The voting for 16 Nagar Nigam (Municipal Corporation), 118 Nagar Palika Parishad (Municipal Council) and 438 Nagar Panchayat bodies were held in three phases on November 22, November 26 and November 29.
52.59 per cent voting was recorded during the first phase of polling on November 22 while 49.3 per cent polling was recorded during the second phase of voting on November 26. 53 per cent polling was recorded during the third and final phase of polling on November 29.
The average polling percentage for all three phases stood at 52.5 percent.