The ruling BJP swept the Uttar Pradesh civic polls, winning nine of the ten mayoral seats for which results were declared till Friday evening while leading in six others where counting was in progress.
Such was the enthusiasm among BJP leaders that the Chief Minister delayed his departure to Delhi and preferred to be with fellow leaders at the state party office to be with supporters.
In the postal ballot round, the BJP did predictably well.
BJP candidates were leading in seats including Lucknow, Allahabad, Aligarh, Varanasi, Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur, Faizabad and Moradabad municipal corporations while the BSP was ahead in Jhansi and Agra municipal corporations.
In Aligarh, however, BSP's Mohammad Furqan wrested the saffron stronghold defeating BJP nominee Rajiv Agarwal by a margin of 11,990 votes in a virtual direct contest. "Behenji's visit to the districts has helped.We were almost winning the third mayoral seat in Agra, but last minute it slipped out of our hands", said BSP leader Ambeth Rajan.
After 100 years, Lucknow will get its first woman mayor, as this time, the Lucknow mayoral seat has been reserved for women. Congress won 7 nagar palika and 17 nagar panchayat chairperson seats. In Gorakhpur, BJP candidate Sitaram Jaiswal defeated Rahul Gupta of Samajwadi Party by 75,823 votes. In Amethi and Musafirkhana, the party had not fielded candidates. In Mathura, BJP's Mukesh Kumar scored 1.03 lakh votes to defeat Congress's Mohan Singh (80,938). Instead, two of the four seats around Gorakhnath temple were won by independents.
Opposition SP, BSP and Congress campaigns were on comparatively low key.
SP leader and MLC Rajpal Kashyap said it was disheartening to note that the BJP gained in places where EVMs were used. Officials said no procession would be allowed during the counting process and following the announcement of the results. Party sources attributed the win to efforts being put by BSP supremo Mayawati, who ever since she quit Rajya Sabha in July this year, began her visit to district headquarters every 18 of the month. Polling was held for 16 Nagar Nigams, 198 Nagar Palika Parishads and 438 Nagar Panchayats with an average turnout of all the three phases estimated at 52.5 per cent of the 3.32 crore voters.
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