In party-less UP panchayat polls, SP claims big win as BJP stumbles in Ayodhya, Varanasi

The Samajwadi Party (SP) has claimed a big victory over the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Uttar Pradesh panchayat polls. The Samajwadi Party claimed it had won more than half of the posts in district panchayats while alleging the administration was not handing over certificates to its candidates.

Uttar Pradesh held panchayat polls in four phases ending April 29. The election was held at four levels of panchayat bodies — gram panchayat, gram pradhan, block panchayat and zila panchayat.

The panchayat polls in Uttar Pradesh are not contested on party symbols. However, all the parties managed candidate selection and election campaigns in a centralised manner this time around.

The BJP, though reported to be leading in the overall tally, stumbled in key districts of Ayodhya and Varanasi. The BJP won just six of 40 district panchayat seats in Ayodhya. The Samajwadi Party won 24 seats in Ayodhya, where the BJP’s pet project of Ram temple construction began last year. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) won five.

In Varanasi, the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP could win only seven of 40 district panchayat seats. The Samajwadi Party won 15 of these seats in Varanasi.

There are 3,050 district-level panchayat wards. The BJP has claimed 918 party candidates have been elected for zila panchayats while over 500 are leading.

However, the BJP failed to take a psychological advantage over the Samajwadi Party in Mainpuri zila panchayat election, where it roped in Sandhya Yadav, the niece of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav. Sandhya Yadav was defeated by SP’s Pramod Yadav.

Besides the BJP and the Samajwadi Party, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) too claimed big wins in the Uttar Pradesh panchayat election. The party’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said 70 candidates backed by the AAP were elected as zila panchayat members. Over 200 AAP members bagged village pradhan posts, he said.

The counting of votes began Sunday morning in more than 825 centres across 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh. All seats have not been declared by the state election commission.

Over 8.69 lakh posts were up for grabs in these polls. Of these posts, more than 7.32 lakh seats were in the gram panchayat wards, 58,176 in the gram panchayats, 75,852 in the kshetra (block) panchayats and 3,050 in the zila panchayats.

The state election commission said over 3.19 lakh candidates were elected unopposed in the panchayat election. Votes were being counted to declare results for over 3.27 lakh panchayat posts. The rest of the posts remained uncontested, the commission said.

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Source – India Today