The Bharatiya Janata Party, which is in power in Uttar Pradesh, fared badly in three prestigious districts — Ayodhya, Mathura and Varanasi. The state goes for assembly elections next year.
The Samajwadi Party led by former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has won in Varanasi and Ayodhya.
The Uttar Pradesh gram panchayat polls have been in the news almost constantly. First for the fear of a COVID-19 surge when people from cities visited the villages for voting, and second for the alleged deaths due to the virus among those engaged in polling work.
As the poll results pour in, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has lost in three prestigious places — Ayodhya, Mathura, and Varanasi, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency.
The Samajwadi Party led by former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has won in Varanasi and Ayodhya. Former Chief Minister Mayavati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) came up trumps in Mathura.
In Varanasi, the BJP managed to win only eight of the 40 seats in the district panchayat that were up for grabs. This comes on the heels of the December 2020 polls when it lost the Legislative Council seat to the Samajwadi Party.
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The Samajwadi Party won 14 seats and the BSP five, and the Apna Dal (S) three. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which rules Delhi, also made a winning debut in Varanasi.
In Mathura, the BSP bagged 12 seats, the RLD nine and the BJP stood third with eight seats of the total 33. The Samajwadi Party managed a lone win, the Congress drew a blank and three independents won.
In Ayodhya, the Samajwadi Party won more than half the seats, winning 24 of 40. The BJP won six seats and independents bagged the rest.
Meanwhile, news reports said the BJP had started back-channel communication with independent winners so that it could wrest the maximum posts of zila panchayat chairpersons, who are indirectly elected, so it could seize control of the local bodies.
It is said the results have come as a shock to the BJP, which is seeking to return to power in the state in next year’s assembly elections.