The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has scored a quiet but significant victory in the biennial election for five seats in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council.
Even though the announcement of results on Saturday went largely unnoticed on a day when polling in 73 seats of the Assembly was taking place, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it a point to mention the result in a public rally in Budayun, saying it reflected the popularity of the party. He added for good measure that it was an indication that “things have started to change” with these results.
Elections were held for five seats in the Legislative Council seats on 3 February, however the results were declared void because of an error in the ballot paper. The elections were then conducted on 6 February. The votes were counted on Friday, and the results were announced on Saturday despite polling being under way in Western UP for the first phase of the seven-phase Assembly election. The Election Commission had ignored an appeal to delay the result announcement.
The BJP won three seats – Gorakhpur-Faizabad (Graduate Constituency), Bareilly-Moradabad (Graduate Constituency) and Kanpur (Graduate Constituency). The two other seats, Jhansi (Teachers Constituency) and Kanpur (Teachers Constituency) went to independent candidates.
The winner in the Gorakhpur-Faizabad (Graduate seat) was Devendra Pratap Singh who defeated Samajwadi Party’s Sanjay Tripathi. Interestingly, Singh was a sitting SP MLC but recently switched to the BJP.
In the Bareilly-Moradabad (Graduate seat), BJP’s Jaipal Singh scored a big victory over the Samajwadi Party candidate Renu Mishra. He retained the seat by defeating the SP candidate by around 25,000 first preference votes. In Kanpur (Graduate constituency) Arun Pathak of the BJP defeated Manvendra Swarup of the SP by 9,154 votes.
The winner in the Jhansi (Teachers seat) was Suresh Kumar Tripathi who defeated Ashok Kumar while in Kanpur Raj Bahadur Singh Chandel defeated Hemraj Singh.
The results came as a big shot in the arm for the BJP which has been under an all-round attack by other parties during the campaign for the Assembly election. Modi reflected this feeling when he said the result was a shape of things to come after one month – alluding to 11 March when the results of the Assembly election will be announced.
The BJP was also quick to describe the victory as an indication of people’s support for the party in east and west parts of the state, as the Council results are related to Gorakhpur and Moradabad. State BJP General Secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak said in the Assembly election too, the people will ensure a big victory for the BJP. The Council result will now be mentioned in the party’s Assembly election campaign for the next round of polling as an indication of popular support.
Updated Date: Feb 11, 2017 19:26 PM