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In a remarkable change of fortunes in Uttar Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party is set to return to power after 14 years as it has swept the state by winning over 300 seats. This was the highest number of seats the party has ever won in the state so far, considering that this was only the second time it won with a comfortable majority. The last time it crossed the 2/3rd mark was in 1991, at the height of the Ram Janam Bhoomi movement, when it won 221 seats.
Uttar Pradesh Assembly election results 2017 highlights:
5.49 pm: Akhilesh meets governor Ram Naik, hands over resignation.
5.14 pm: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi congratulated PM Modi on the party’s win in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. PM Modi retweeted the post saying, “Thank you. Long live democracy!”.
5.00 pm: Addressing the media after the Uttar Pradesh verdict, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav says he welcome the people’s decision and will accept their verdict. ” I think the people want more development. We made the express way, they may not have liked it. May be they are expecting a bullet train,” he said. On the alliance with the Congress, he said the party is happy to continue with the arrangement in the future. “We benefited from the alliance,” Akhilesh said. When asked about Mayawati’s claims of alleged EVM tampering, Akhilesh said the government needs to look into it if true.
4.47 pm: BJP swept Agra and Bareilly, winning all nine seats in each district. It repeated the feat in Aligarh too, winning all seven seats. In Meerut, the party won six out of the seven seats. The only loss the party suffered was in Meerut constituency where former BJP state unit president Lakshmikant Bajpai to SP’s Rafiq Ansari by close to 30,000 votes.
4.40 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated BJP national president Amit Shah, party office bearers and state units for their “exemplary work in taking the party to new heights”. “I salute the hardwork of BJP Karyakartas. They have tirelessly worked hard at the grassroots level & won the confidence of the people,” he tweeted.
4.25 pm: Swati Singh, wife of expelled BJP leader Dayashankar Singh, won from Sarojini Nagar by a margin of over 30,000 votes. Addressing the media after her win, Singh said she was indebted to the people of Uttar Pradesh. Dayashankar Singh was expelled from the party after his comments against the BSP chief, Mayawati. Addressing a gathering of party workers, Singh compared Mayawati to a sex worker. His comments drew backlash from leaders cutting across party lines, including those from the BJP.
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 11, 2017
3.59 pm: On Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive, Amit Shah said voters proved wrong all those who spoke against it. “Everyone raised notebandi in UP poll. Now it’s proved that people stand like a rock with PM on notebandi,” he said.
3.54 pm: When asked if he would be interested in taking over the reigns in Uttar Pradesh as chief minister, Amit Shah said: “I have lots of work pending and I am not even a voter in UP.” He says the Parliamentary Board Committee will meet tomorrow around six in the evening and pick a chief minister for all states in which it will form the government.
3.44 pm: A confident Amit Shah says the BJP will form government in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. He attributed the wins to PM Modi for his pro-poor initiatives. “There is no doubt that Narendra Modi ji has become the most popular leader in post independent India,” Shah said. He added that the assembly elections in five states proved that BJP’s positive agenda helped defeat caste and dynastic politics. “Politics of performance has defeated caste and dynasty politics,” he said. In a jibe aimed at rival political parties, he said: move past Hindu-Muslim identities, a voter is a voter; politics of development should take place.
3.38 pm: Post poll rout, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav sought an appointment with Governor Ram Naik at 6 pm today to tender his resignation.
3.37 pm: BJP national president Amit Shah is addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in Ashoka Road, Delhi.
3.27 pm: Giving complete credit to PM Modi and BJP workers for the party’s stunning sweep in Uttar Pradesh, state unit president Keshav Prasad Maurya says the chief minister will be picked by the central parliamentary board.
3.22 pm: In Auraiya, BSP candidate Bhimrao Ambedkar lost to BJP candidate Ramesh Chandra by over 30,000 votes.
3.04 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi held as many as 24 rallies in Uttar Pradesh, just seven shy of his previous best 31 in Bihar. Despite the BJP failing to win Bihar elections in 2015, it did not stop the Prime Minister from crisscrossing Uttar Pradesh. He campaigned in areas such as Meerut, Agra, Ghaziabad, Bijnaur, Badaun, Lakhimpur Kheri, Kannauj, Hardoi, Barabanki, Fatehpur, Urai, Allahabad, Basti, Bahraich and Gonda. Apart from a few seats in Agra and Meerut, the BJP is leading in remaining constituencies. The PM also failed to swing Kannauj, Hardoi and Barabanki from Samajwadi Party, according to latest trends.
— Mallica Joshi (@mallicajoshi) March 11, 2017
2.54 pm: BJP national president Amit Shah arrives to a rousing reception by party workers at its headquarters in Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to chair a meeting around 4 pm today evening.
2:40 pm: This is the wave of change. People realised biggest hindrance in development of poor is SP, BSP and Congress: Shrikant Sharma, BJP
2.25 pm: Independent candidate Raghuraj Pratap Singh, alias Raja Bhaiya, is winning with a margin of close to 1 lakh votes in Kunda. Shivpal with over 35,000 votes.
2.10 pm: In Modi Nagar, home to Modi mills, BJP candidate Manjur Shiwach is winning with over 60,000 votes.
2.00 pm: In Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh’s bastion, Baghpat, the BJP is leading in all three assembly constituencies. As many as 1,299 people voted NOTA in Dadri, 901 in Shamli and 517 in Muzzafarnagar. Also, the BJP is currently maintaining high margins in all six seats in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar, reports our correspondent Ishita Mishra.
1.50 pm: Mayawati demanded that elections must be held again in Uttar Pradesh using ballot paper. She also said a team of foreign experts must be brought in to probe the EVMs. “I have written to Election Commission in this regard, people no more have faith in EVM machines,” she said.
1.40 pm: BSP chief Mayawati pulls a Donald Trump, says EVMs did not accept votes other than for the BJP. “Either the EVMs did not accept votes other than BJP, or the votes of other parties have gone to BJP in the EVMs,” Mayawati said in a press conference. She went on to claim that most votes in Muslim-dominated areas went to the BJP, proving that the EVMs were tampered with. “Most votes in Muslim majority constituencies have gone to BJP, makes it evident that voting machines were manipulated,” she said.
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 11, 2017
1.30 pm: Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh, contesting on BJP ticket from Noida, is currently leading with 1,34,954 votes. His predecessor Vimla Batham also breached the 1-lakh margin in the by-election.
1.25 pm: As the leads trickle in, here is other regional parties are faring in Uttar Pradesh. Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party is leading in six constituencies. The Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal and Peace Party in one each.
1.20 pm: In Ayodhya, BJP candidate Ved Prakash Gupta is leading SP’s Tej Narayan Pandey with over 30,000 votes. Bareilly is likely to be retained by the BJP with its candidate, Arun Kumar, leading with over 15,000 votes. Bareilly cantonment, however, will be retained by the Congress. In Dadri, the BJP is set to snatch the seat from the BSP as its candidate is leading with over 40,000 seats. In Muslim-dominated Deoband, BJP candidate Brijesh breached the 1-lakh mark in terms of votes cast. Kairana is likely to go the SP way as there is a gap of 20,000 votes between the party and the BJP.
1.10 pm: Bhogaon has once again voted against the SP as the BJP is currently ahead with 18,000 votes. While the SP is likely to retain Karhal, the party is in a close fight in Mainpuri, Sadar and Kisni. The situation is no different in Etawah as the BJP is currently maintaining its lead in Etawah city, while Shivpal managed to win Jaswant Nagar. Barthana too is likely to go SP’s way.
1.00 pm: In western UP, there was speculation earlier that the Jats will vote against the BJP but it was clearly disproved with the party leading in at least 59 seats, far ahead of the SP-Congress combine (13). In central UP, where the SP has strong presence in areas like Kannauj and Mainpuri, the BJP is leading in 46 out of the 63 seats.
भारतीय जनता पार्टी में विश्वास प्रकट कर यह ऐतिहासिक जनादेश देने के लिए उत्तर प्रदेश की जनता का कोटि कोटि अभिनन्दन।
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) March 11, 2017
12.50 pm: In Agra, the BJP is leading in seven out of the nine seats. The BSP is leading in the other two. Speaking to ANI, Union Minister Smriti Irani credited PM Modi for the party’s historic win. “This is a win of Modiji’s leadership and Amit Shah ji’s hard work. It has broken all barriers of religion, caste, creed etc,” he said.
How the hell did almost all the experts/analysts miss this wave in UP? It’s a tsunami not a ripple in a small pond.
— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) March 11, 2017
12.40 pm: The SP-Congress alliance appears to have failed as the latter contested in 105 seats and is leading in just eight of those. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will address a press conference around 5 pm today evening. Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Surjewala said the two parties entered into an alliance for “vikas” and the public did not accept them. “Jeet ka ghamand nahi, haar bhi ek nayi seekh sikhati hai,” he told news agency ANI.
This is a win of Modiji’s leadership and Amit Shah ji’s hard work. It has broken all barriers of religion,caste,creed etc:Smriti Irani on UP
12.31 pm: Express reporter Eshita Mishra met Mulayam’s younger brother Abhay Ram Yadav in Saifai. He refused to comment on the SP’s defeat, says not interested in politics. Abhay is the father of Badaun MP Dharmendra Yadav.
12.29 pm: At Mulayam Singh’s ancestral home in Saifai. All family members travelled to Lucknow for counting day.
12.22 am: Shivpal Yadav commenting on the party’s performance said: “Ye samajwad ki nahi ghamand ki agar hai.”
12.10 pm: Here is a quick roundup of all the seats from around Uttar Pradesh:
UP Minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapti (23,578) is trailing in Amethi to BJP’s Garima Singh (27,977). BJP’s Reeta Bhahuguna Joshi (48,038) is leading by over 25,000 votes in Lucknow cantonment against Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav (23,380). In Mulayam’s Lok Sabha Azamgarh, SP candidate Durga Prasad (31,544) is leading with close to 10,000 votes. In riot-hit areas Muzaffarnagar and Shamli, the Samajwadi Party is likely to win the former while Shamli will go to the BJP. In Kannauj, it is a tight race between the BJP and SP candidates. In Mau, BSP’s Mukhtar Ansari is trailing by close to 3,000 votes. In Mainpuri, BJP candidate Ashok Kumar has a lead of over 3,000 votes.
12.00 pm: Early Holi celebrations by the BJP workers in Uttar Pradesh.
11.55 am: In SP stronghold Etawah, home district of party patriarch Mulayam Singh, BJP candidate Sarita Bhadauriya has a slender lead over Ramgopal Yadav’s close aide Kuldeep Gupta ‘Santu’.
11.51 am: In Dadri, where a mob lynched a Muslim man for allegedly consuming beef, BJP candidate Tajpal Singh Nagar is leading with over 25,000 votes over the sitting BSP MLA Satveer Singh Gurjar.
11.45 am: Samajwadi Party general secretary and Akhilesh Yadav’s mentor, Ramgopal Yadav refused to speak to the media assembled outside his house.
11.40 am: BJP is leading in all five constituencies in Mathura and all eight constituencies in Varanasi.
11.30 am: The BJP is ahead in all six seats in Unnao, home of BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj. In January at a meeting in Meerut, Maharaj came under criticism for his comments against the Muslim community. “This population rise in not because of the Hindus. Population has risen due to those who support the concept of four wives and 40 children,” he said.
11.20 am: In Bijnor, BJP’s Suchi Chaudhary, who is wife of Peda riot-accused Aishwarya Chaudhary, is leading with the margin of 21,328 votes.
11.10 am: Here is a snapshot of the vote share:
11.00 am: BJP MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore tells news agency ANI: “The Congress hand is blackened by joining hands with sinners. Now, the public will never accept them.”
110.50 am: In the holy city of Mathura, BJP’s Shrikant Sharma is leading with 31,249 votes — over 20,000 votes over his nearest rival. The BJP is leading in all eight constituencies in Varanasi. PM Modi camped in the temple town for three long days as he took out back-to-back roadshows and addressed a couple of election rallies.
10.45 am: SP leader Azam Khan’s son Abdullah Khan is leading with over 10,000 votes in Suar, according to leads released by the Election Commission. In Kannauj, which is represented by Dimple Yadav in Lok Sabha, it appears to be a close fight between the SP and BJP.
10.35 am: The BJP candidate in the Muslim-dominated Deoband seat is leading with over 10,000 votes over his nearest rival. BSP’s Majid Ali trails with 24,823 votes and SP’s Mavia Ali with 17,125 votes.
10.29 am: Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan is leading with over 8,000 votes in Rampur. Rape-accused UP Minister, Gaytri Prajapati is trailing to BJP’s Garima Singh in Amethi. The margin is just over 500 votes. In Shamli, which witnessed riots in 2013, BJP candidate Tejendra Nirwal is leading with close to 20,000 votes over Congress candidate Pankaj Kumar Malik.
10.15 am: We have our first reactions from the BJP. Speaking to news agency ANI, party MP Yogi Adityanath says the people of Uttar Pradesh rejected the SP-Congress combine. He calls it a “vote for development”. Also, BJP state chief Keshav Prasad Maurya says UP will help reelect PM Modi in 2019. When asked about the SP, Maurya said Akhilesh and his uncles ruined the state.
10.12 am: The BJP is all set to capture the Vidhan Sabha, unless a late sprint from the SP-Congress spoils the party.
— Tashi Tobgyal (@tashitobgyal) March 11, 2017
10.08 am: The Congress is staring at another rout in Uttar Pradesh, a state it has remained out of power for 27 years. It looks like the wait is set to get a lot longer. Here is a peek into the Congress headquarters in Delhi, the empty chairs says it all.
10.00 am: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s son, Pankaj Singh is leading by over 5000 votes in Noida, which is the gateway to Uttar Pradesh. It has always been considered as a safe seat. However, the party had to quell a rebellion by local party workers who accused the BJP high command of parachuting in “outsiders”. Union Minister Mahesh Sharma, under whose Lok Sabha constituency Noida is a part of, had taken Pankaj under his wing and reportedly managed his poll campaign. Despite Rajnath not campaigning for his son, BJP president Amit Shah and Venkaiah Naidu were in Noida to address meetings.
9.55 am: In Kairana, where the BJP alleged there was a mass exodus of Hindu families, Samajwadi Party candidate Nahid Hasan is leading with over 1000 votes over BJP’s Mriganka Singh. The BJP, however, is leading in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar.
9.45 am: In Fatehpur, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his infamous kabristan remark, BJP candidate Vikram Singh is leading with over 1000 votes. This is what PM Modi said last month: ““Agar kabristan me bijli hai to shamshaan me bhi honi chahiye. Agar Ramzan mein bijli aati hai, to Diwali me bhi aani chahiye, bhedbhav nahi hona chahiye.”
9.38 am: Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav is currently trailing to BJP’s Reeta Bahuguna Joshi in Lucknow cantonment, according to Election Commission data. The lead, however, is less than 1000 votes. News agency ANI reports that former Samajwadi Party state president Shivpal Yadav, who was at the centre of the rift within the party, is leading in Jaswant Nagar.
9.35 am: Congress stronghold Bareilly likely to fall as BJP is leading in seven out of the nine seats, reports Ishita Mishra. In Agra, the party is ahead in six of the nine seats.
9.25 am: There is a flurry of activity outside the BJP headquarters in Lucknow. A huge contingent of media personnel are camping outside the gates.
9.22 am: The controversy surrounding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive seems moot now as the BJP is set for a landslide victory in the state. The party crossed the halfway mark and has established a gap of over 150 seats over the SP-Congress combine. Poll panelists on TV channels, however, appear more cautious this time around and are waiting for the full picture to emerge.
9.15 am: This is the mood outside BSP supremo Mayawati’s residence-cum-party office in Lucknow. Poll pundits painted the former chief minister as the dark horse in this election. If the initial trends hold true then the party is set to finish third, behind the BJP and the SP-Congress.
9.13 am: It doesn’t look like this yagna performed by Samajwadi Party workers at a Hanuman mandir near the party office in Lucknow is helping stop the BJP in Uttar Pradesh from coming to power.
9.07 am: Abhishek Manu Sanghvi of the Congress tells NDTV that it is very early to write obituaries as past experience would suggest.
9.04 am: It appears there are more media personnel outside the Samajwadi Party headquarters in Lucknow than party workers.
9.00 am: It is still early days but the BJP appears to have left its rivals far behind by leading in over 100 seats. The SP-Congress is a distant second with leads in just 26 seats, closely followed by the BSP with 21.
8.56 am: Local in Lucknow tracking the election results on a giant TV screen outside the Vidhan Sabha. (Source: Express photo by Tashi Tobgyal)
8.51 am: Our Lucknow correspondent, Lalmani Verma reports that the Samajwadi Party headquarters appears almost deserted. Only party state president Naresh Uttam is present at the party office with over a dozen workers. And Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is likely to follow today’s developments from his official residence.
8.47 am: The BJP just crossed the 50-seat mark, it leads in around 67 seats out of the 102 in which counting has begun so far.
8.33 am: BJP is currently leading in 32 of the 55 seats in which counting has commenced. If the party is able to sustain its momentum then there is no reason why it shouldn’t be able to emerge as the largest party in UP. We will get the full picture around 10 am later in the day. According to NDTV, the party is doing extremely well in Awadh as it is leading in 8 of the 10 seats, up from one seat it won in last assembly elections.
8.31 am: Eye in the sky: security drones hover above a counting centre in Lucknow. Counting is currently underway in 78 centres across 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh.
8.28 am: The BJP seems to have stolen an early march on its rivals. They are leading in 10 seats at the moment, closely followed by the SP which is leading in six. The BSP still is leading in just one seat. However, one shouldn’t read too much into the counting of postal votes as we have seen in Bihar in 2015.
8.21 am: Jailed MLA Mukhtar Ansari is leading in Mau and BJP in Shamli. Many of these trends are from the postal votes. They are expected to swing wildly once counting of EVMs begin around 9 am.
8.19 am: The BJP was also quickly off its mark as it currently leads in two seats.
8.15 am: We have our first leads in the Uttar Pradesh election results. Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party are leading in one seat each according to initial trends.
8.11 am: Two days before Holi, the BJP state headquarters in Lucknow was decked with decorative lighting and party leaders placed advanced orders for roses, ladoos, firecrackers and colours.
decorative lights, party leaders have in advance placed orders for roses, laddoos, firecrackers and colours to play Holi
8.06 am: Caste is set to play a major role in this election with the Dalits traditionally aligning with the BSP, the OBCs with the Yadavs and the upper castes with the BJP. The party that will woo the electorate across the castes is expected to come to power.
8.03 am: In case the state delivers a hung verdict, the BJP ruled out aligning with any other party, especially the BSP despite supporting the Mayawati-led government in 1995. They pulled out of the government after just four months. The SP on the other hand did not reject the possibility of entering into an alliance with the BSP. In 1993, the two arch rivals were in alliance for a brief period of two years before pulling the plug. SP’s alliance partner the Congress is also adopting a wait-and-watch policy. The BSP was part of the UPA alliance till 2008 before withdrawing its support.
Election updates from before counting below:
7.59 am: At 8 am, counting of postal votes will commence at counting booths.
7.51 am: In the run-up to the polls, which were conducted in seven phases, leaders cutting across party lines did not lose an opportunity to launch into personal attacks. The highlight of the campaign was when PM Modi spelled out SCAM: Samajwadi, Congress, Akhilesh and Mayawati. BJP national president Amit Shah went a step further saying that KASAB meant Ka’ for Congress, ‘Sa’ for the Samajwadi Party and ‘B’ for BSP.
7.42 am: In this election, the BSP fielded the most number of Muslim candidates (97). The BJP yet again failed to give party tickets to a single Muslim candidate in a state that has around 4 crore members from the community. Speaking to Times Now, Union Minister Rajnath Singh said the party should have fielded Muslim candidates. He, however, clarified saying that the party’s election committee awarded tickets based on the winnability of a candidate.
7.39 am: In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP got the lion share of the votes by garnering 42 per cent of those cast. The SP-Congress registered 29 per cent and the BSP got 20 per cent. Polling pundits say any party looking to win the state need to notch up at least 35 per cent of the vote share.
7.28 am: Here is what at stake for all the parties in the fray. For the Samajwadi Party, Akhilesh Yadav is looking to emerge from the shadow of his father and party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav by putting on a strong show in this Vidhan Sabha election. It’s alliance partner, Congress will see vice-president Rahul Gandhi looking to revive the party’s fortunes in the state and hoping to form government after staying 27 years out of power. The BJP will be looking to use the UP verdict as a referendum for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive and as a vote for vikas.
7.25 am: One poll survey predicted the BJP to win as many as 285 seats in the state. Since 1991, the party has been on a decline after it swept the state winning 221 seats. In subsequent elections, it won 174 seats in 1996, 88 in 2002, 51 in 2007, and 47 in 2012.
With the exit polls giving a clear edge to the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections 2017, Samajwadi Party chief and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, without naming Bahujan Samaj Party, hinted that he would be open to joining hands with like-minded secular parties in a bid to stop the state from coming under President’s Rule and being ‘remotely controlled’ by the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre.
The Samajwadi Party-Congress combine are predicted to finish a distant second as most poll surveys either gave the Bharatiya Janata Party a clear majority or predicted that the party would fall just short of the 202 halfway mark. It was Vikas vs Vikas as both camps ran high-pitched poll campaigns in the Hindi heartland. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spearheaded the BJP campaign, which went into the polls without announcing a chief ministerial face, as he crisscrossed the state in an effort to end the party’s 14-year drought in UP. Akhilesh also aggressively campaigned for the SP-Congress alliance as he seeks reelection for a second term.
BSP chief Mayawati is likely to play queenmaker if her party fails to win more seats than what the exit polls had predicted. The Congress leadership says it will wait for the poll results before taking a call on whether to join hands with the BSP to form a grand alliance.