THE ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh Monday claimed to have won 36 zila panchayat chairman posts unopposed, including that in Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s constituency Amethi, while BSP, which claimed to have won highest numbers of seats in zila panchayat polls, opened its account by winning in Saharanpur.
“Of 74 districts, where elections for the post of zila panchayat chairman are going on, the party has won unopposed in 36 districts, including Amethi. It’s a big success,” SP spokesman Rajendra Choudhary said.
Choudhary claimed that two more SP candidates have won unopposed —- in Lalitpur and Sant Kabir Nagar —- after withdrawals. In Lalitpur, party’s rebel candidate Atal Devi withdrew her nomination in favour of SP’s official candidate Sarita Yadav. In Sant Kabir Nagar, independent candidate Neena Devi withdrew her nomination paving way for SP’s Santosh Yadav to get elected unopposed.
Earlier, SP had claimed that its 33 candidates, including party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s nephew Abhishek Yadav alias Anshul Yadav and niece Sandhya Yadav, were elected unopposed on January 1. Abhishek filed his nomination from Etawah, Sandhya, sister of Badaun MP Dharmendra Yadav, filed papers from Mainpuri.
Monday (January 4) was the last day for withdrawal of nominations. Elections are scheduled on January 7 following which the State Election Commission will declare the formal results.
Congress suffered an embarrassment in Amethi when its nominee Krishna Chaurasiya withdrew her nomination paving way for the unopposed election of the SP candidate. SP’ Shiv Kali Maurya is the lone nominee left for the post of zila panchayat chairman, district magistrate Jagatraj Tewari said.
There was a direct contest between Congress and SP for the post.
“Congress had not declared any official candidate but we had eight members who had won with our support. It was decided that if Krishna contests the polls, these members will support her. Why she withdrew — due to fear, affection or greed — only she can tell,” Yogendra Mishra, district Congress president in Amethi told The Indian Express. He, however, admitted that among the eight zila panchayat members claimed by Congress, Krishna was one of them.
Congress vice-president and local MP Rahul Gandhi’s representative Chandrakant Dubey, who was present during the filing of nomination by Chaurasiya, said she did not take any advice from the party over withdrawing her name. “She has not taken party’s advice on withdrawing her candidature and it is her personal decision,” Dubey added.
When contacted, Krishna’s phone was answered by someone else who claimed that her phone is being charged at his place.
Meanwhile, in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency Varanasi, BJP candidate Amit Sonkar alleged that he was being harassed by the local police. “On Sunday, police came to my home claiming that my car had caused an accident. They wanted my vehicle and driver to be taken to the police station for investigation. My vehicle has not moved out for past three days. It is just a tactic to harass me,” Sonkar told The Indian Express.
He, however, refused to name any Samajwadi Party leader or state government behind the harassment.
“I am contesting the election seriously. Even Apna Dal candidate Gayatri has withdrawn in my favour. I am now BJP-AD joint candidate and confident of my victory,” he said.
SP has fielded Aparajita Sonkar from Varanasi.
Meanwhile, BSP bagged Saharanpur seat where Tasneem Bano won unopposed as other two candidates withdrew their nominations. SP had not fielded any candidate in Saharanpur. In Baghpat, RLD candidate Renu Dhama was elected unopposed as SP’s candidate had not filed her nomination.