Counting for the Uttar Pradesh civic polls began on Friday morning with early trends showing voters having favoured the BJP over other parties in a majority of corporations. In Ayodhya, party’s mayoral candidate Rishikesh Upadhyay is ahead of his rivals.
Out of the 60 wards in the Ayodhya-Faizabad municipal corporation, trends emerged for 29 wards and BJP is leading in at least 10 wards while Samajwadi Party is ahead in 11.
The 2017 civic elections will be a popularity test for Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The two municipal corporations of Ayodhya-Faizabad and Vrindavan-Mathura were constituted after Adityanath assumed office. Counting of votes is in progress for all the 652 urban local bodies.
The newly constituted municipal corporation of Ayodhya is witnessing a fight among Upadhyay, Samajwadi party candidate Gulshan Bindu, a transgender activist, Congress leader Shailendra Mani Pandey and BSP candidate Girish Chandra Verma.
Bindu was the runner-up in a Nagar Palika poll which the BJP had won by a mere 200 votes. She had finished fourth in the 2012 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election, securing 11.45 per cent votes as an independent candidate. Follow Uttar Pradesh civic polls 2017 Live Updates here.
The State Election Commission said counting is underway for 16 nagar nigams, 198 nagar palika parishad and 438 nagar panchayats. The overall voter turnout increased from 46.2 per cent in 2012 to 52.5 per cent.