BJP sweeps U.P civic polls bagging 14 mayoral seats

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BJP sweeps Uttar Pradesh civic polls bagging 14 mayoral seats

The BJP swept the Uttar Pradesh civic polls on December 1 pocketing 14 of the 16 mayoral seats as Yogi Adityanath emerged on top in his first major electoral test after taking over as Chief Minister in March.

BJPThe Congress faced the embarrassment of losing in its bastion Amethi, the Lok Sabha constituency of its vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

Mayawati-led BSP, meanwhile, sprang a surprise as it thwarted the challenge from BJP candidates to win the mayoral posts in western U.P.’s Aligarh and Meerut towns.

Lucknow, which elected BJP’s Sanyukta Bhatia as its first woman mayor, was among the prestigious seats including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi, temple town Ayodhya and Mr. Adityanath’s home turf Gorakhpur, that the BJP won.

BJP also scored impressive victories in Kanpur and Ghaziabad with its nominees emerging victors by a margin of over a lakh votes.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the results reaffirmed people’s support for the GST which has made doing business “easier” for traders.

BJP chief Amit Shah said that it was clear that the people had embraced the economic reforms and rejected politics of caste, appeasement and dynasty.

In Ayodhya, BJP’s Rishikesh Upadhyay secured 44,642 votes and defeated nearest rival Samajwadi Party’s Gulshan Bindu, a transgender, by 3,601 votes.

In Varanasi, BJP candidate Mridula Jaiswal defeating her nearest opponent, Shalini of the Congress, by a comfortable margin of 78,843 votes. In Gorakhpur, BJP candidate Sitaram Jaiswal defeated Rahul Gupta of SP by 75,823 votes.

In western U.P.’s Moradabad, BJP candidate Vinod Agarwal edged past Congress’s Rizvan Qureishi by a margin of 22,635 votes.

In Saharanpur too BJP candidate Madan Walia fended off the challenge from BSP rival Fazlurehman to win by 2,000 votes.

The saffron party’s Mukesh won the Mathura-Vrindavan seat defeating nearest rival Mohan Singh of the Congress by 22,108 votes.

The Adityanath government, soon after assuming office in March, had constituted two municipal corporations of Ayodhya and Vrindavan-Mathura.

BJP’s Ramtirth Singhal won the Jhansi seat defeating Brijendra Kumar Vyas of the BSP by a margin of 16,373 votes. A setback for the Congress which had fielded former Union Minister Pradip Jain Aditya, who finished third.

BJP also won in Firozabad where its candidate Nutan Rathore defeated Masroor Fatima of the All India Majlis-e- Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) by a margin of 42,396 votes. In Bareilly, Umesh Gautam of the BJP trounced Iqbal Singh Tomar of the SP by 12,784 votes.

In Aligarh, however, BSP’s Mohammad Furqan wrested the saffron stronghold defeating BJP’s Rajiv Agarwal by a margin of 11,990 votes in what was virtually a direct fight.

Mr. Adityanath who went on a whirlwind tour of the State to ensure the victory of his party candidates, described it as a “historic win“. He attributed the victory to Mr. Modi’s vision and BJP chief Amit Shah’s guidance.

Now the BJP will now look forward to achieving the goal of hundred per cent success in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he added. Mr. Adityanath said that the Congress had been wiped out in its bastion Amethi.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the results of Uttar Pradesh civic polls reaffirmed people’s support for the GST which has made doing business “easier” for traders.

A major blow was dealt to the Congress, particularly Rahul Gandhi, as reports from the U.P. civic polls confirmed a massive win for the BJP in Amethi.

The Congress lost in Jais and Gauriganj where Nagar Palika polls were held. In Amethi and Musafirkhana, where Nagar Panchayat polls were held, the party had not fielded candidates.

From Gauriganj, SP’s Rajpati Devi won defeating nearest rival BSP nominee Tara Devi by a margin of 1,395 votes, while in Jais BJP’s Mahesh Sonkar was leading.

The Musafirkhana seat was won by independent Brijesh Agrihari while the Amethi seat was won by BJP candidate Chandra Devi.

Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma said the people of the state had shown full faith in the BJP while discarding the SP, the BSP and the Congress.

“The SP, the BSP and the Congress contested the polls as each other’s relatives. (SP chief) Akhilesh Yadav and (Congress vice president) Rahul Gandhi, who were together during Assembly polls as ‘UP ke ladke’ have become like the punctured tyre and tube of a cycle,” Mr. Sharma said taking a jibe. He dismissed charges of EVM tampering as baseless.

“There was no shortcoming in EVMs, but it’s in their minds and party. They worked for a particular caste and people have discarded them. We are working for all, irrespective of caste, creed and religion and that has been accepted by the people,” Mr. Sharma said.

SP leader and MLC Rajpal Kashyap said it was “disheartening to note that the BJP gained on places where EVMs were used.” The SP is closely analysing the results, he said.

These elections are being viewed as a litmus test for the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress as well.

The BSP contested the urban body polls for the first time on its party symbol, seen as an attempt by its chief Mayawati to stay relevant in a State she has ruled four times.

The State voted in three phases on November 22, 26 and 29 and the counting of ballots was held under tight security cover and CCTV surveillance at 334 centres in district and tehsil headquarters, the State election commission said.

Polling was held for 16 nagar nigams, 198 nagar palika parishads and 438 nagar panchayats with an average turnout of all the three phases estimated at 52.5% of the 3.32 crore voters.

-PTI, LUCKNOW, DECEMBER 01, 2017