Out of the 11 MLC seats up for grabs, six are teachers’ constituencies and five are graduate constituencies. The results of the graduates’ constituencies are expected late on Friday night or Saturday morning.
Of the three teachers’ constituencies where the BJP romped home, its performance in Meerut surprised many as BJP candidate Srichand Sharma defeated popular teachers’ union leader Om Prakash Sharma. The saffron party’s Umesh Dwivedi and Hari Singh Dhillon won from the Lucknow and Bareilly-Moradabad divisions.
In Varanasi, SP candidate Lal Bihari Yadav triumphed, while Independents Dhruv Kumar Tripathi and Akash Agrawal bagged the Gorakhpur-Faizabad and Agra constituencies. The Congress drew a blank.
“The victory is attributed to the planning and hard work of the candidates and party leaders. Though the party did not take interest in teachers’ polls, our candidates have been actively working for the welfare of teachers for long and were backed by our cadre and leadership. These factors have yielded results,” said BJP spokesperson Harish Srivastava.
The biggest casualty in the election turned out to be eight-term MLC Om Prakash Sharma. While several union factions have been created in the past few years, Sharma’s “Madhyamik Shikshak Sangh Sharma Gut [Secondary Teachers’ Association Sharma Outfit]” has been a dominant force in the politics of teachers’ issues. Sharma’s last term ended this May. Sources said the entry of private school teachers as voters upended the status quo.
Meanwhile, SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav alleged that BJP leaders attacked the police in Jhansi as they were frustrated about his party’s victory and wanted to manipulate the counting process. “Frustrated by its defeat and SP’s victory, BJP people in an attempt towards manipulation in counting attacked policemen in Jhansi,” alleged the former chief minister.
He demanded the arrest of the BJP leaders responsible. “The BJP wants to loot the democracy openly, there is no law and order in the state,” Yadav claimed.
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