Lucknow(PTI): Ruling Samajwadi Party on Monday suffered a jolt in pockets of Uttar Pradesh with many relatives of ministers and senior leaders losing in the zila panchayat elections while BJP-supported candidates won only in 8 of the 48 seats in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Varanasi constituency.
As ballots cast in the four-phase polling were counted today, Opposition BSP emerged as the surprise front-runner in the elections with most of the candidates it supported, registering victory. In Varanasi’s Jayapur, the village adopted by Modi, BJP candidate Arun Singh was defeated by BSP’s Ramesh Tiwari. The SP claimed to have won 25 seats in Varanasi district while Congress won 2, BSP 3, BJP ally Apna Dal 4 and Independents 6. In the last elections, BJP had won 3 seats.
The panchayat elections are not contested on party symbols and major parties chose not to officially announce the candidates it had endorsed. Polling was held for 3,112 posts of district panchayats and 77,576 membership post in block panchayats and counting was done at 819 block headquarters amid tight security. BJP, which had supported candidates in zila panchayat and kshetra panchayat polls for the first time, could not make a significant impact.
The results assume significance as they have come just about a year before the assembly elections. BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said, “The results indicate that people of the state, especially in villages, have decided to bid goodbye to the corrupt and inefficient Samajwadi Party government.” Accusing the ruling SP of misusing government machinery, he said that a review of the results would be done for which report has been sought from every district. Samajwadi Party, however, discounted reports of losing the polls with its spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary claiming that the electorate have approved the government’s policies and programmes during last three-and-a-half years of its rule.
He said people have rejected BJP in a big way. In Azamgarh, the Lok Sabha seat represented by SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, the party-supported candidate was defeated even in Tamausi village, which has been adopted by Mulayam.
Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen opened its account in Azamgarh by winning a seat in Maksudia. State Election Commission said that after holding the elections of the Kshetra and district panchayat members in four phases, it would now prepare for the crucial pradhan and village panchayat polls in four phases from November 27 to December 9 with counting of votes on December 12. Notification for the pradhan polls would be issued on November 7.