Uttar Pradesh election results 2017: Modi tsunami rocks Akhilesh-Rahul boat, BJP gets close to 325 mark
The BJP has won more than 320 seats in 403-member Uttar Pradesh Assembly. The ruling Samajwadi Party has suffered a crushing defeat.
Proving wrong fears of a hung assembly, the BJP is set to sweep back to power in Uttar Pradesh after 15 long years, giving Prime Minister Narendra Modi his biggest victory after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Powered by an aggressive campaign spearheaded by Modi, BJP candidates were on the road to victory in a whopping 322 of the 403 constituencies
The imminent victory triggered widespread celebrations all across the country’s most populous state as well as at the BJP headquarters in Delhi.
As the Samajwadi Party, the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) licked their wounds, Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad called the win in Uttar Pradesh bigger than the 2014 victory.
“It is a tectonic shift in Indian politics,” Prasad said adding, “UP is a laboratory of India. Demonetisation has worked and we are proud of Modi’s leadership. It is a bigger victory than the 2014 win in the Lok Sabha election.”
BJP IN LEAD
BJP candidates led in all major cities in particular, including in five of the eight seats in Lucknow, eight of the 10 seats in Kanpur, nine of the 12 seats in Allahabad and seven of the eight seats in Varanasi, Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency.
Even in Amethi, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha seat, the BJP’s Garima Singh had forged ahead.
BJP president Amit Shah announced in his press conference in New Delhi that of 10 seats in Raebareli and Amethi, the party candidates were on the winning course
SP-CONGRESS IN SHOCK
The Samajwadi-Congress alliance was in the lead in 77 constituencies while the BSP was gasping in just 19 seats.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who is set to resign, said that he worked hard and his party’s vote-share also improved in some areas but the results were not in his favour.
“People got swayed by misleading propaganda,” Akhilesh said adding, “I will want see how do they better the work done by the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh.”
On its part, the Congress leaders expressed shock.
“It is a monumental setback. We are disappointed with Uttar Pradesh,” Congress spokesman Sanjay Jha said. Added Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit, whose mother and former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was originally to be the Congress Chief Ministerial candidate: “Our party is looking confused.”
In contrast, BJP leaders were jubilant.
Commenting on the poor show by SP-Congress and Mayawati’s BSP, BJP MP Yogi Adityanath said, “Good work done by the Modi government and (BJP President) Amit Shah’s strategy has paid dividends. People have rejected the politics of appeasement and discrimination.”
The BJP began taking strong leads right from the start of the counting and it became clear within an hour that it was set to comfortably take power in Uttar Pradesh.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “The victory goes to Modi for his hard work, for his vision, for his pro-poor agenda. He is the first Prime Minister in contemporary times who really worked for the poor.”
Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh said, “For the first time we are seeing people rising above caste in Uttar Pradesh. The voters have moved a step ahead of politicians.”
WHAT WORKED IN BJP’S FAVOUR
Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned out to be the biggest trump card for the BJP. He campaigned hard, tirelessly and relentlessly. While the SP, Congress and BSP attacked Modi over demonetisation and attempts to polarise the Uttar Pradesh election, the Prime Minister countered the arguments by accusing them of shielding the corrupt.
Even though he raked up the issues like discrimination on religious grounds against Akhilesh Yadav by referring to Kabristan and Shamshaan, Modi sought support from voters in the name of development.
Modi succeeded in convincing people of Uttar Pradesh that a BJP government with full majority will work in better coordination with the Centre for bringing development and creating jobs in the state.
The infighting in Samajwadi Party and limited caste-appeal of Mayawati also helped BJP perform better. The BJP countered the caste-base of these two parties by focusing on non-Yadav OBCs and non-Jatav Dalits during the election.
Top BJP leaders including Modi, Amit Shah and several cabinet ministers camped for three days in Varanasi. Modi addressed plethora of rallies and held back-to-back road shows in Varanasi, his own constituency. This gave final impetus to the BJP cadre and supporters.
The counting of votes only reflected the hard work put in Modi-Shah team.
-March 11, 2017,New Delhi