LUCKNOW: It was the first big test for Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and he delivered a big win for the party as the BJP captured 14 of the 16 mayoral seats in the state. The Chief Minister expressed gratitude to the people of state for believing in his government’s way of working and backing the development agenda. The Prime Minister congratulated him for the good show.
There were celebrations in the BSP camp as well. For the BSP, the two wins in Meerut and Aligarh have put them on revival course. After getting decimated in the 2017 Assembly elections by dwindling to just 19 seats, the party put up a strong fight at many places.
The Meerut victory was extra sweet for the party as it is believed to be a saffron bastion. BSP’s Sunita Verma defeated Kanta Kardam of the BJP by a margin of over 25,000 votes in the seat. The BSP scored well despite the fact even though Mayawati did not step out to campaign for her party candidates. However, her move of quitting the Rajya Sabha on the issue of Dalits seems to have worked for the party. Mayawati has been focusing on re-organising the party cadre.
In Lucknow, the BJP won 58 of the 110 wards. Sanyukta Bhatia will be the first woman mayor of the city. Other 13 mayoral seats won by the party included Saharanpur, Ghaziabad, Moradabad, Agra, Jhansi, Kanpur Nagar, Kanpur Dehat, Bareli, Mathura, Ayodhya, Varanasi, Allahabad and Gorakhpur. The urban local body polls were being seen as a referendum on the Yogi government. The results have come as a boost to his political stature. The CM carried party’s poll campaign on his own shoulders. He addressed over 40 public rallies across the state at an average of 3-4 back-to-back rallies daily.
There have been upsets also for the BJP, which faced a rout in Kaushambi, the native district of Deputy CM Keshav Maurya. The party also faced a drubbing in Gorakhnath ward.