The BJP on Saturday registered a resounding victory in Uttar Pradesh’s Urban Local Body polls, winning or leading all the 17 Mayoral seats, and winning or leading in a majority of 1,420 councillors seats in Municipal Corporations, and member seats across Nagar Panchayats and Nagar Palika Parishads.
As per the latest data available, the BJP won 30 out of 544 Nagar Panchayat chairman seats and was leading in more than 200. Of 1,420 councillors seats in Municipal Corporations, the party won or was leading in more than half the seats. In the Prayagraj Municipal Corporation, out of 100 seats whose results have been declared, the BJP won 56, Samajwadi Party (SP) 16, Independents 19, the Congress won four seats, and AIMIM and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) won two seats each.
The saffron party candidate Bihari Lal Arya from Jhansi became the Mayor after winning with a margin of over 83,000 votes. In Prayagraj, the BJP’s Ganesh Kesarwani defeated the SP’s Ajay Srivastava by a thumping margin of over one lakh votes.
Ajay Singh won the post of Mayor in Saharanpur Municipal Corporation, Girishpati Tripathi won from Ayodhya, Manglesh Srivastava from Gorakhpur, Ashok Tiwari from Varanasi, Pramila Pandey from Kanpur, Prashant Singhal from Aligarh, Harikant Ahluwalia from Meerut, Archana Verma from Shahjahanpur, Sushma Kharwal from Lucknow, Umesh Gautam from Bareilly and Sunita Dayal from Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation.
The SP came second on 10 out of 17 Mayoral seats, while in the remaining seven seats — including Agra Municipal Corporation — the BJP defeated the BSP whose candidates came second.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who lead the BJP’s campaign by holding 50 rallies across the State, thanked the voters for forming a triple-engine government. “Heartiest congratulations to all the dedicated and hardworking workers of U.P. BJP and the citizens of Uttar Pradesh, on the resounding victory of the BJP in the Uttar Pradesh local body polls. This emphatic victory reflects the successful guidance of respected Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji and immense public faith in the pro-people, developmental and inclusive policies of the double-engine government. Congratulations to all the people of the State for forming a triple-engine government,” he said.
Uttar Pradesh Urban Body polls, held in two phases on May 4 and 11 across 75 districts, was the last major pan-State elections going into the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. At least 4.32 crore voters were to elect 1,420 councillors to Municipal Corporations and 5,327 members to Nagar Panchayats and 7,177 members to Nagar Palika Parishads apart from electing 17 Mayors. The voter turnout was recorded at 52% in the first phase and 50% in the second phase.
State BJP president Bhupendra Singh Chaudhary called the victory a symbol of public’s faith towards the developmental policies of the double-engine BJP government led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. “This wonderful and historic victory is a symbol of the unwavering faith of the public towards the developmental policies of the double engine BJP government led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji and the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ji,” he tweeted.
The SP, however, alleged rigging in counting at various places and demanded immediate action by the Election Commission. “How about one lakh more votes were counted during the counting of votes in the Gorakhpur mayoral election? Government should clarify. Election Commission should take cognizance of the malpractices done with the democratic process,” said the SP, in a statement.
In the campaign trail the saffron party focused on ‘law and order’ situation in U.P. claiming it improved under the Yogi government and asked citizens to vote for a triple-engine government, while also alleging that before 2017, workers belonging to a political party used to roam around with guns to terrorise businessmen and common citizens — signalling at the SP.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party’s campaign centred around local issues, which also manifested in their agenda document with the party promising proper mechanism for drainage removal in cities, opening Samajwadi canteens and an urban employment guarantee scheme on the lines of MGNREGA.
The Urban Body polls in the most populous State happened after the Supreme Court allowed the State Election Commission to hold elections with the Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota in line with the report from the Uttar Pradesh Backward Classes Commission.