LUCKNOW: The BSP’s recent announcement not to contest the Zila Panchayat chairperson polls could prove a blessing in disguise for the BJP in the July 3 polls, which are being seen as the semi-final before the next year’s assembly polls.
Already, the BJP has won unopposed the Zila Panchayat chairperson posts in 21 out of the 75 districts, while the Samajwadi Party has retained Etawah. Of the 21 districts, where the BJP-backed candidates won unopposed, in at least two districts, Mau and Ghaziabad, it was the BSP’s decision not to field its candidate for chairman’s post (as the BSP-backed candidates had won a significant number of district panchayat member seats in both districts) that ultimately helped the BJP emerged winner unopposed.
BSP sources said though the party finished third in the district panchayat polls with around 350 wins, the winner district panchayat members backed by it hold the key to deciding who, the BJP or the SP, will actually win in around 10-15 districts, including Agra, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur in west and east UP districts like Ballia and Ghazipur.
Importantly, while the SP has fielded candidates for Zila Panchayat chairperson posts in all 53 districts, the BJP has fielded candidates in 51 districts and left two districts for ally Apna Dal (S).