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U.P. local polls: BJP claims win as SP says ruling party made mockery of elections

Police personnel detain Samajwadi Party workers as they protest against declaring BJP candidate Dr.V.K. Singh win in District Panchayat President election, in Prayagraj on July 03, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The BJP on Saturday claimed to have swept the elections to the posts of the district panchayat chief even as the SP alleged that the ruling party "kidnapped” voters and used “force” to stop them from voting.

Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav accused the BJP of making a mockery of the elections, saying it is strange that while most results in the polls for the district panchayat members were in favour of his outfit, the BJP gained in the contest for the district panchayat chief.

Though the panchayat polls in U.P. are not held on the party symbol and the state Election Commission did not announce the party affiliation of the winning candidates, the BJP claimed that the candidate backed by it won on 67 of 75 posts, the elections for which were held on Saturday.

Claiming victory, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said in a tweet that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity and welfare policies initiated by his government and the Centre are responsible for the party’s good show.

“This is the manifestation of public confidence in the good governance that has been established in Uttar Pradesh. Thanks to all people of the State and a hearty congratulations for the victory,” he said.

U.P. BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh too said in a Hindi tweet, “The BJP+ (BJP and its allies) has won 67 out of 75 seats of zila panchayat chairpersons. For these unprecedented results, I thank people of the State and hardworking party workers.”

The victory march that began in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections under the Prime Minister’s leadership has continued till now and on the basis of the works done by PM Modi and Mr. Adityanath, the BJP will form government with majority in the Assembly polls next year, Mr. Singh said.

Asking the Opposition parties to accept the defeat, Mr. Singh said in their frustration, they are out to reject the mandate.

Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav charged the ruling BJP with making a mockery of the elections. “To convert its defeat into victory, the BJP got the voters kidnapped, used force with the help of police and administration to stop them from voting,” the SP chief alleged in a party release.

The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said it is strange that while most results in the elections for the zila panchayat members were in favour of the Samajwadi Party, the BJP gained in the polls for the district panchayat chief.

Earlier, the polling in 53 districts began at 11 a.m. and continued till 3 p.m., after which the votes were counted.

On Tuesday, chairpersons of 22 district panchayats were declared elected unopposed. Of these, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claimed to have won 21 seats.

In the evening, the state Election Commission released a list of winning candidates.

According to reports from Ballia, the son of former U.P. minister Ambika Singh, who had returned to the SP from the BSP recently, won the elections.

In Ballia, police also detained six people, including four women, for trying to cast fake votes, the incharge of Ballia City Kotwali Bal Mukund Mishra said.

The Bahujan Samaj Party did not contest the polls. Mayawati had said her party has decided not to contest the elections as it wants to channel its energy on strengthening the organisation before the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls next year. Once the BSP forms its government in the State, the majority of the zila panchayat chairmen themselves will join the BSP as they cannot function without power.

We have kept this fact in mind and so decided not to contest the elections, she had said.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 6:10:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/up-local-polls-bjp-claims-win-as-sp-says-ruling-party-made-mockery-of-elections/article35130124.ece

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