U.P. BJP chief, Khurshid's wife and D.P. Yadav among losers
The remarkable upsurge of the Samajwadi Party in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections may have taken many by surprise, but individual results have largely followed a trend and the upsets were few and far between.
Most of the top leaders from across the political spectrum managed to win their seats.
From the Samajwadi Party, both party supremo Mulayam Singh and his son Akhilesh had not contested the elections this time. Mulayam's brother Shiv Pal Singh Yadav, however, fought from Jaswantnagar and won by a huge margin of over 81,000 votes. His nearest rival was Manish Yadav Pataray of the Bahujan Samaj Party.
Another prominent SP leader to win by a big margin was Mohammad Azam Khan, who returned to the party fold after the exit of Amar Singh and contested from Rampur. Mr. Khan defeated his nearest rival Dr. Tanveer Ahmad Khan of the Congress by over 60,000 votes.
From the Bharatiya Janata Party, senior OBC leader Uma Bharti won from Charkhari by over 25,000 votes defeating Kaptan Singh of the SP. The BSP candidate here, Choudhuri Dhooram, came a close third behind the SP candidate.
Ms. Bharti, who was instrumental in installing the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh, had rejoined the BJP last year and had been campaigning for the party in U.P.
Another senior BJP leader Kalraj Mishra, who is most vividly remembered for a stampede during saree distribution by him, won from the Lucknow East constituency. His closest rival was again a SP candidate, Juhie Singh, whom he defeated by over 20,000 votes.
For Jayant Chaudhary, son of Rashtriya Lok Dal leader and Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, the victory over six-time MLA Shyam Sundar Sharma at Mant turned out to be bitter sweet. Mr. Chaudhary had won the Lok Sabha election from Mathura in 2009 and yet opted to contest the Assembly election in the hope that in the event of a hung Assembly, he may get a shot at U.P. Cabinet. But the complete sweep by the SP put paid to his hopes.
The young leader, however, finally won the seat by a comfortable margin of over 16,000 votes.
From the Congress, party State president Rita Bahuguna won her Lucknow Cantonment seat by defeating Suresh Chandra Tiwari of the BJP by a margin of over 21,000 votes.
BJP State president Surya Pratap Shahi was unable to secure a seat in the Assembly. He lost to Shakir Ali (SP) at Pathardeva by over 11,000 votes.
Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid's wife was another notable loser. While her husband had won the 2009 Lok Sabha election from Farrukhabad by polling 1.69 lakh votes, of which over 45,000 were in the Assembly segment by the same name, Ms. Louise Khurshid polled less than 23,000 votes in this Assembly constituency and came a poor fifth. The seat went to an independent, Vijay Singh.
Among the political heavyweights, D.P. Yadav — who was denied a ticket by the SP and who contested from Sahaswan as a candidate of his own Rashtriya Parivartan Dal — polled over 56,000 votes and yet came third.