It may have won the zila panchayat chairperson elections in 36 districts unopposed, but the going may not be as smooth for the ruling Samajwadi Party in 36 other districts, which are going to polls Thursday.
Of the total 74, BSP and RLD have won one seat each unopposed.
The party was aiming at maximum unopposed wins to pass a message among the masses about its acceptability. The BSP, which claimed to have won maximum zila panchayat seats, however, is now giving it a tough fight in at least 10 seats followed by BJP on eight seats and Congress on one seat. The ruling party is also finding it hard to control the resentment among party leaders in few districts and rebel candidates may play spoilsport for it on at least six seats.
Though it is believed that ruling party has an upper hand in these elections still BSP is making its presence felt. Its candidate Tasneem has already won from Saharanpur district unopposed as SP failed to declare any candidate against her. In Ambedkar Nagar former BSP minister Lalji Verma’s wife Shobhawati Verma is pitted against ruling party’s Sudheer Singh while in Hathras, SP’s Omwati is facing a tough contest against BSP’s Vinod Upadhyay, who is brother of former minister Ramveer Upadhayay. The other districts where BSP is giving tough fight to SP are Moradabad,
Aligarh, Mathura, Sonbhadra, Mirzapur, Kaushambi, Allahabad and Bareilly.
BJP’s candidates, too, are in contest in nearly 10 districts, including Agra, Pilibhit, Sultanpur, Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Meerut, Varanasi and Shahjahanpur.
SP is feeling the heat in at least six districts as its own leaders have fielded their relatives against party’s official candidate. Three of its MLAs are openly opposing party candidates and have fielded their relatives in Bijnor, Unnao and Sitapur. SP has already suspended MLA Ruchi Veera (Bijnor) and has expelled Rampal Yadav (Sitapur) from the party for six years. Rampal had fielded his son Jitendra for zila panchayat chairman’s post in Sitapur against party candidate Seema Gupta. However, no action has been taken against another MLA, Kuldeep Singh Sengar, whose wife is contesting against party candidate in Unnao.
Nearly half a dozen leaders and office bearers have deserted SP in Gorakhpur and have joined hands with BJP. In Balrampur, several SP leaders are supporting the independent candidate while in Jaunpur some ruling party workers are in touch with independent Prabhawati Pal, sources confirmed.
Party sources claim that SP may be able to win two more districts — Farrukhabad and Chandauli. In Farrukhabad, the SP rebel candidate has withdrawn nomination in favour of the party’s official c candidate while in Chandauli, the party has “poached” BSP candidate by making her SP’s official candidate.
Minister Shivpal Yadav, who is in-charge of zila panchayat polls, claimed everyone has freedom to contest polls in democracy.
“Victory and defeat are part of elections. But, if anyone disobeys party’s decision, it will be reviewed. Everybody has to follow party leadership’s decision,” Shivpal said during a programme in Lucknow.
Amidst this, Congress, after surrendering meekly in Amethi, is putting up a token fight in Rae Bareli while in remaining districts opposition parties are jointly supporting independents against SP candidates.