June 30, 2021 2:28:16 am
The Uttar Pradesh State Election Commission on Tuesday announced that the chairpersons of 22 Zila Panchayats had been elected unopposed. It was the last date for withdrawal of candidature. Elections to the 53 other Zila panchayats will be held on July 3.
While 21 of the 22 are reportedly candidates supported by the BJP, one is a Samajwadi Party (SP)-backed candidate in Etawah. Of these 22, 18 seats were declared on the day of nomination, including Etawah, after only one candidate filed papers in each of them. Four more seats — Saharanpur, Bahraich, Shahjahanpur and Pilibhit — were declared on Tuesday after some candidates withdrew their papers. The other districts where elections will not be required are Chitrakoot, Agra, Gautam Budh Nagar (Noida), Meerut, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Amroha, Moradabad, Lalitpur, Jhansi, Banda, Shravasti, Balrampur, Gonda, Gorakhpur, Mau, and Varanasi.
Sources said a BSP-backed candidate in Saharanpur pulled out of the contest after party chief Mayawati announced that her party will not contest the elections.
The victory of candidates in these districts came amid the Opposition’s allegations that the BJP has been misusing the government machinery. The saffron party hit back, accusing the SP of using unfair means.
“We contest fair elections, and if the allegations were not true then how come the Samajwadi Party won Etawah uncontested? Moreover, the way the Samajwadi Party president took action after the nomination shows that he is on work from home. Four more seats have come to the BJP, what will he do now?” asked BJP state vice-president Vijay Bahadur Pathak, who is the party leader in charge of the panchayat polls.
He added, “Our candidates have been elected to 21 seats and now we will work hard to ensure that we win the majority of the remaining seats as well.”
State Election Commissioner Manoj Kumar said on July 3 votes will be counted from 3 pm.
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