WITH ELECTIONS for Zila panchayat chairpersons concluding in 74 districts of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday evening, the ruling Samajwadi Party grabbed 60 posts while the BSP, which had claimed to have won majority of Zila panchayat member posts, could only win four seats.
The BJP, meanwhile, lost the seat in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency of Varanasi to SP. Overall, while BJP managed to win four seats, Congress could only win Rae Bareli and RLD Baghpat. In an embarrassment for the SP, its rebels won in three districts amid reports of clashes between rival groups.
The results were declared by the State Election Commission on Thursday. Out of the 74 districts, SP had won 36 seats unopposed on Monday. Besides, BSP had won unopposed from Saharanpur and RLD from Baghpat. While polling for the remaining 36 seats were held on Thursday, SP claimed victory on 24 seats. The Opposition, meanwhile, alleged rigging and misuse of government machinery during the polls.
BJP candidates comfortably won in Mathura, Maharajganj, Shahjahanpur, and Fatehpur. The party claimed it had fielded candidates in 13 districts and won seven. It also included Shamli, Muzaffarnagar and Bijnor in its winning list.
At Shamli and Muzaffarnagar, candidates were supported by all Opposition parties, including some SP rebel leaders. There were reports of BJP workers clashing with SP workers in Maharajganj, Gorakhpur and Meerut. The BSP drew solace by winning Hathras, Mirzapur, Aligarh while it had already won the Saharanpur seat unopposed. The party lost Ambedkar Nagar seat where it had fielded Shobhawati Verma, wife of former minister Lalji Verma. Here, 10 votes were declared invalid. Alleging rigging, BSP state president Ram Achal Rajbhar has demanded repolling in Ambedkar Nagar.
SP’s three rebel MLAs — Kuldeep Singh Sengar, Ruchi Veera and Rampal Yadav — got their relatives elected defeating the party’s official candidates in Unnao, Bijnor and Sitapur, respectively. Sengar’s wife Sangeeta tied with SP candidate Jyoti Rawat in Unnao and was declared the winner through lottery. The party, which is yet to take any action against Sengar, has included him in its list of winning candidates.
In Bijnor, SP’s suspended MLA Ruchi Veera’s husband Udyan Veera won amid clashes with SP supporters. In Sitapur, SP MLA Rampal Yadav, who has been expelled from the party, got his son Jitendra Yadav elected by defeating the SP candidate. In Farrukhabad district, only nine out of 30 members turned out to vote with the SP candidate emerging as the winner.
When contacted, BSP’s Rajya Sabha MP, Munquad Ali, termed the election results as a symbol of ‘goondaraj’. “If fair elections were held, BSP would have won maximum seats. Cases were lodged against voters… candidates forced to withdraw their names. This is not election results but the outcome of SP’s goondaraj,” Ali said. At present, Ali holds the responsibility of BSP’s divisional co-ordinator for Varanasi, Azamgarh, Mirzapur and Allahabad divisions.
However, SP state spokesperson Rajendra Choudhary said: “The Opposition is making false allegations… voters have given their stamp to the development agenda of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.”