The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept the Uttar Pradesh civic polls
on Friday pocketing 14 of the 16 mayoral seats as Yogi Adityanath emerged on top in his first major electoral test after taking over as chief minister in March.
The Congress faced the embarrasment of losing in its bastion Amethi, the Lok Sabha constituency of its vice-president, Rahul Gandhi.
Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), meanwhile, sprang a surprise as it thwarted the challenge from BJP candidates to win the mayoral posts in western UP’s Aligarh and Meerut towns.
Lucknow, which elected the BJP’s Sanyukta Bhatia as its first woman mayor, was among the prestigious seats, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi, temple town Ayodhya and Adityanath’s home turf Gorakhpur, that the BJP won.
The BJP also scored impressive victories in Kanpur and Ghaziabad with its nominees emerging victors by a margin of over 100,000 votes.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the results reaffirmed people’s support for the goods and services tax which has made doing business “easier” for traders.
BJP chief Amit Shah said it was clear that the people had embraced the economic reforms and rejected politics of caste, appeasement and dynasty.
The results are all the more a boost to the party as they come days before the high-stakes Gujarat Assembly polls.
Among the BJP’s thumping victories was in Kanpur where, Pramila Pandey defeated Bandana Misra of the Congress by a margin of 105,134 votes. In Ghaziabad, BJP’s Asha Sharma trounced Dolly Sharma of the Congress by 163,675 votes.
It was the BJP all the way in Allahabad and Agra as well.
Abhilasha Gupta retained the Allahabad mayoral post defeating Vinod Chand Dubey of the Samajwadi Party by 63,384 votes. In Agra, Navin Kumar Jain defeated Digambar Singh of the BSP by 74,322 votes.
In Ayodhya, BJP’s Rishikesh Upadhyay secured 44,642 votes and defeated his nearest rival SP candidate Gulshan Bindu, a transgender by 3,601 votes.
Prime Minister Modi’s constituency Varanasi saw BJP candidate Mridula Jaiswal defeating nearest rival Shalini (Congress) by 78,843 votes. In Gorakhpur, BJP candidate Sitaram Jaiswal defeated Rahul Gupta of the Samajwadi Party by 75,823 votes. BJP candidate Vinod Agarwal defeated Congress’s Rizvan Qureishi by a margin of 22,635 votes in Moradabad. In Saharanpur, too, the BJP won with Madan Walia pipping BSP’s Fazlurehman by 2,000 votes. BJP’s Mukesh won the Mathura-Vrindavan seat by 22,108 votes. The Adityanath government, soon after assuming office, had constituted two municipal corporations : Ayodhya and Vrindavan-Mathura.