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BJP sweeps civic polls in Uttar Pradesh

BJP sweeps civic polls in Uttar Pradesh
Highlights

The ruling BJP swept the Uttar Pradesh civic polls bagging 14 of the 16 mayoral seats for which results were declared till Friday evening, while the...

Lucknow: The ruling BJP swept the Uttar Pradesh civic polls bagging 14 of the 16 mayoral seats for which results were declared till Friday evening, while the Bahujan Samaj Party won the remaining two.

Opposition Congress again fared poorly, including in its bastion of Amethi, while the BSP had some reason to cheer as its candidate snatched the Aligarh mayoral seat, a traditional BJP stronghold. The BJP posted a massive win in Amethi.

In what was being dubbed as Yogi Adityanath's first electoral test after he became the chief minister, the BJP bagged several prestigious mayoral seats, including Ayodhya, Varanasi, Lucknow, Gorakhpur and was leading in several others.

In Ayodhya, BJP's Rishikesh Upadhyay secured 44,642 votes and defeated nearest rival SP's Gulshan Bindu, a transgender, by 3,601 votes. In Prime Minister Narendra Modi Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi, BJP candidate Mridula Jaiswal defeating her nearest opponent, Shalini of the Congress, by a comfortable margin of 78,843 votes.

In Lucknow, BJP's Sanyukta Bhatia became the first woman mayor of the state capital defeating nearest rival, Samajwadi Party's Meera Vardhan, by a huge margin of 1,31,356 votes. In Gorakhpur, the home turf of Chief Minister Adityanath, BJP candidate Sitaram Jaiswal defeated Rahul Gupta of SP by 75,823 votes. The Adityanath government, soon after assuming office in March, had constituted two municipal corporations of Ayodhya and Vrindavan-Mathura.

In Bareilly, Umesh Gautam of the BJP trounced Iqbal Singh Tomar of the SP by 12,784 votes. In Aligarh, however, BSP's Mohammad Furqan wrested the saffron stronghold defeating BJP's Rajiv Agarwal by a margin of 11,990 votes in what was virtually a direct fight.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who went on a whirl wind tour of the state to ensure the victory of his party candidates, described it as a "historic win". He attributed the victory to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision and BJP chief Amit Shah's guidance.

These elections are being viewed as a litmus test for the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress as well.

The BSP contested the urban body polls for the first time on party symbol, seen as an attempt by its chief Mayawati to stay relevant in a state she has ruled four times.

The state polled in three phases on November 22, 26 and 29 and the counting of ballots was held under tight security cover and CCTV surveillance at 334 centres in district and tehsil headquarters, the state election commission said.

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