UP civic polls: BSP's gains signal possible structural change in voting pattern

  • UP civic polls: BSP's gains signal possible structural change in voting pattern

UP civic polls: BSP's gains signal possible structural change in voting pattern

The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday registered a comprehensive win in the Uttar Pradesh Civic Polls 2017 - comfortably winning 14 of the 16 municipal corporations.

In the postal ballot round, the BJP did predictably well.

BJP's mayor candidates have won in Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Ghaziabad, Bareilly, Agra, Firozabad, Ayodhya, Mathura, Lucknow, Kanpur, Saharanpur, Jhansi, Bareilly and Moradabad and the BSP has won in Aligarh and Meerut.

In Aligarh, however, the BSP's Mohammad Furqan wrested the saffron stronghold, defeating the BJP's Rajiv Agarwal by a margin of 11,990 votes in what was virtually a direct fight. "Behenji's visit to the districts has helped.We were almost winning the third mayoral seat in Agra, but last minute it slipped out of our hands", said BSP leader Ambeth Rajan.

"Now the BJP will look forward to achieving the goal of hundred per cent success in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls", he added.

In Mathura, the BJP candidate Meera Agarwal won from ward number 56 through lottery system as she and the Congress candidate 874 votes each.

In Lucknow, the BJP's Sanyukta Bhatia became the first woman mayor of the state capital, defeating her nearest rival, the Samajwadi Party's Meera Vardhan, by a huge margin of 1,31,356 votes. In Amethi and Musafirkhana, where nagar panchayat polls were held, the party had not fielded candidates. In Jais, BJP candidate Mahesh Sonkar was leading. Instead, two of the four seats around Gorakhnath temple were won by independents.

Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma said people have shown full faith in the BJP and its ideology and discarded the SP, the BSP and the Congress. On the Opposition's charges of EVM tampering, Sharma said, "The shortcoming is not in the EVMs but in their minds".

In 2012, the party had won 10 mayoral seats and around 43 seats of chairpersons of other local bodies. "Across Western UP, we found Muslims voted for SP", said a BJP MP. Officials said no procession would be allowed during the counting process and following the announcement of the results.

The state election commission previously said that counting of votes will be held at 334 centers at district headquarters. Over 3.36 crore voters exercised their rights at 36,269 polling booths in the state to decide the fate of 79,113 candidates.