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UP Rural Polls: BJP Wins Big, SP Washed Out; Lathicharge in Violence-hit Deoband

(Reuters)

(Reuters)

BJP won 15 seats out of 19 in Sitapur and three seats were won by SP.

Counting of votes polled for the 476 posts of block panchayat chiefs has ended in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday. Voting was held from 11 am to 3 pm on Saturday. Certificates will be issued to the victorious candidates today. Tensions were reported in Deoband block after Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Kartik Rana accused the administration of rigging the vote counting. The police resorted to lathi-charge to control the situation after SP workers began protesting.

The BJP won all seats of 8 blocks in Lucknow and Kannauj. The saffron party registered victory of six out of eight seats in Moradabad and three seats in Bhadohi out of the six seats.

The BJP won 15 seats out of 19 in Sitapur and three seats were won by SP. In Hardoi, BJP won 14 seats out of 19 blocks. SP won only one seat and independent candidates won three seats each.

The ruling party in Uttar Pradesh won unopposed in 14 seats in Agra. In Barauli Aheer, BJP defeated SP where polling was held.

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The BJP also won eight out of nine seats in Muzaffarnagar. The remaining seat was won by RLD.

The ruling party won 12 out of 22 seats in Azamgarh while SP won only seven seats and three independent candidates grabbed three seats respectively.

Almost 85 per cent seats went in favour of the ruling party, BJP announced adding that the party and its allies bagged 635 of 825 seats of block panchayat chief.

A total of 349 candidates for the block panchayat chief posts were elected unopposed on Friday, the last day for the withdrawal of nomination papers, State Election Commissioner Manoj Kumar said. Though at most of the places, counting had been completed, in some areas it was still continuing and the results were expected late in the night, a spokesman of the Commission said.

Post poll violence has been reported in some districts, according to reports. In Etawah, a police offiCer was slapped over alleged bias given to BJP’s candidates. However, despite the allegations of misuse of government machinery and violence the counting of votes continues.

According to state police, clashes and other untoward incidents were reported from 17 districts during the election process and orders have been issued to respective district police heads to take strict action against those responsible for it. Victory processions have not been allowed and officials were keeping a strict eye on the situation, the state police said in a statement.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at a press conference said, “the big victory in UP block polls is people’s referendum on the good work done by UP govt under the guidance of the Centre."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet congratulating the state said, “Even in the election of block chiefs in Uttar Pradesh BJP had raised its flag. Yogi Adityanath government’s policies and public interest schemes have been reflected in the party’s massive victory. All the party workers deserve congratulations on this victory."

The CM also praised the state Election Commission for the peaceful and fair polls. Conducting such a massive election process peacefully, in a state where democracy was mortaged before professional criminals and mafia on the basis of caste religion and sect, is praiseworthy, he told reporters at the BJP headquarters. He said it was due to the guidance and inspiration of PM Modi, work was done without discrimination for every sections of society.

The inclination of the people was towards the BJP and I am happy to say that the strategy of the party has yielded this result, he said.

The Chief Minister directed officials that tight security arrangements should be made at each block where counting is taking place. In a statement issued here, Adityanath said there should be a system in place wherein the winning and losing candidates be escorted to their homes under police protection.

"The police force should remain extra alert and sensitive. Stringent action should be initiated against people who indulge in vitiating the atmosphere," he said. A total of 349 candidates for the block panchayat chief posts were elected unopposed on Friday, the last day for the withdrawal of nomination papers.

In a statement issued here on Friday, State Election Commissioner Manoj Kumar had said 1,778 nomination papers were received for 825 posts of the block panchayat chief, of which 68 were cancelled and 187 withdrawn. As a result, now 1,710 candidates will go into the elections on Saturday, he had said.

As the State Election Commission announced that candidates on 349 posts have been elected unopposed, an office-bearer of the BJP claimed that 334 among the winning candidates belonged to the ruling party. UP BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh said a state of development and good governance has been established by eradicating casteism and corruption in Uttar Pradesh after the formation of the government under the leadership of Chief Minister Adityanath.

"This is the reason that even in the three-tier panchayat elections, the BJP is continuously achieving victories, which is the stamp of people's approval on the policies of the BJP," he said earlier in a statement. Opposition parties, including the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress, have accused the ruling BJP of damaging democracy in the elections of kshetra panchayat chiefs and attacked it for allegedly showing "utter disrespect" to women during the election process.

They accused the government of misusing power and official machinery in the panchayat elections. Hitting out at the BJP government, BSP chief Mayawati alleged that there is jungle raj in the state.

In a tweet in Hindi on Saturday, she said, "In the reign of the present BJP government in UP, there is no rule of law, but a jungle raj is prevailing there, under which there has been widespread violence in the panchayat polls, and there was indecent behaviour with a woman in Lakhimpur Kheri. This is highly condemnable. Is this their (BJP's) rule of law and democracy? This is something to ponder upon.

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first published:July 10, 2021, 15:46 IST