Eight months after sweeping the assembly polls with a two-thirds majority, the BJP continued its winning run in UP by claiming 14 of the 16 mayoral seats, including in Ayodhya and Mathura, in polls to municipal corporations, according to results announced on Friday.
Mayawati’s BSP registered its presence in urban areas after a poor show in the assembly polls by wresting the mayoral seats in Aligarh and Meerut from the BJP. The main Opposition party SP, however, failed to win a single mayoral seat, losing the only mayor’s post it held in Bareilly to the BJP. The Congress was left red-faced after the BJP registered a sweep in Amethi, a bastion of the Gandhi family.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who launched the BJP’s campaign from Ayodhya and addressed over 30 public meetings, credited his party’s workers, and welfare schemes of the state and central governments, for the win.
Taking a dig at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Adityanath said, “The results were an opener for those who were making tall claims regarding Gujarat but failed to win any seat in the UP civic election… aur Amethi mein bhi unka bilkul safaya ho gaya (and even in Amethi, they were wiped out).”
By Friday evening, results were declared for 193 of the 198 municipal boards, or nagar palika parishads, and 437 of 438 nagar panchayats. Of these, BJP won 67 posts of palika chairpersons and 100 of panchayat chairpersons. SP won 45 palika and 83 nagar panchayat chairperson seats while BSP has won 28 and 45 seats, respectively. Congress won 9 nagar palika and 17 nagar panchayat chairperson seats.
Among the significant wins, BJP’s Rishikesh Upadhyay scored 44,642 votes in Ayodhya to defeat SP nominee Gulsan Bindu, a transgender, by over 3,000 votes. In Mathura, BJP’s Mukesh Arya scored 1.03 lakh votes to defeat Congress’s Mohan Singh (80,938). In Firozabad, BJP’s Nutan Rathore, 31, became the youngest in the state to be elected mayor with 98,932 votes.
And, in the capital Lucknow, BJP’s Sanyunkta Bhatiya, who hails from a family with strong RSS ties, was elected as the city’s first woman mayor.
In Jhansi, Congress’s Pradeep Jain Aditya, ex-MP and former union minister, contested the mayor’s post this time but lost to the BJP candidate Ram Teerath Singhal.
In Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi, reserved for OBC women in the civic polls, BJP’s Mridula Jaiswal bagged 1.92 lakh votes to push Congress’s Shalini Yadav (1.13 lakh) to second place.
In Adityanath’s hometown Gorakhpur, BJP’s Sitaram Jaiswal won the mayor’s seat by tallying 1.46 lakh votes to defeat SP’s Rahul Gupta by over 70,000 votes.
In Allahabad, which recorded the lowest turnout, BJP’s Abhilasha Gupta, wife of state minister Nand Gopal Gupta Nandi, bagged 1.31 lakh votes to defeat SP’s Vinod Dubey.
For the BSP, Mohd Furqan won in Aligarh by claiming 1.25 lakh votes to defeat BJP’s Rajiv Kumar by around 10,000 votes. The BJP had won this seat in all the last four elections. In Meerut, Sunita Verma defeated BJP state vice-president Kanta Kardam by around 25,000 votes – the BJP had held the Mayor’s seat here in 2012 and 2007.
Overall, the results show:
BJP: 14 mayors, 595 municipal corporators, 67 nagar palika chairpersons, 901 nagar palika board members; 100 nagar panchayat chairpersons and 659 panchayat members. In 2012, the party had won 10 mayoral seats and around 43 seats of chairpersons of other local bodies.
BSP: 2 mayors, 147 corporators, 28 nagar palika chairpersons and 252 nagar palika board members; 45 nagar panchayat chairpersons and 214 panchayat members.
SP: 201 municipal corporators, 45 nagar palika chairpersons, 462 nagar palika board members; 83 nagar panchayat chairpersons and 452 panchayat members.
Congress: 110 municipal corporators, 9 nagar palika parishad chairpersons, 146 nagar palika board members; 17 nagar panchayat chairpersons and 125 panchayat members.
AAP: 3 municipal corporators, 14 nagar palika board members; 2 nagar panchayat chairpersons, and 19 panchayat members.
The polls were held in three phases on November 22, 26 and 29.