BJP sweeps Uttar Pradesh civic polls, eyes Gujarat
Bags 14 of 16 mayoral posts; Cong embarrassed over losing in its bastion Amethi
The BJP swept the Uttar Pradesh civic polls on Friday, pocketing 14 of the 16 mayoral seats, as Yogi Adityanath emerged on top in his first major electoral test after taking over as chief minister in March. The Congress faced the embarrassment of losing in its bastion Amethi, the Lok Sabha constituency of its vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Mayawati-led BSP, meanwhile, sprang a surprise as it thwarted the challenge from BJP candidates to win the mayoral posts in western UP's Aligarh and Meerut towns. Lucknow, which elected BJP's Sanyukta Bhatia as its first woman mayor, was among the prestigious seats, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi, temple town Ayodhya and Adityanath's home turf Gorakhpur, that the BJP won.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BJP state president Mahendra Nath Pandey celebrate the victory of the party in the state civic body elections, at the party office in Lucknow, on Friday. Pic/PTI
BJP also scored impressive victories in Kanpur and Ghaziabad with its nominees emerging victors by a margin of over a lakh votes. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the results reaffirmed people's support for the GST, which has made doing business "easier" for traders. BJP chief Amit Shah said that it was clear that the people had embraced the economic reforms and rejected politics of caste, appeasement and dynasty.
The results are all the more a boost to the saffron party as they come days before the high-stakes Gujarat Assembly polls. Among BJP's thumping victories was in Kanpur where, Pramila Pandey defeated Bandana Misra of the Congress by a margin of 1,05,134 votes. In Ghaziabad, BJP's Asha Sharma trounced Dolly Sharma of the Congress by 1,63,675 votes. It was BJP all the way in Allahabad and Agra also. Abhilasha Gupta retained the Allahabad mayoral post defeating Vinod Chand Dubey of the Samajwadi Party by 63,384 votes. In Agra, Navin Kumar Jain defeated Digambar Singh of the BSP by 74,322 votes.
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'UP results reaffirm people's support for GST'
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the results of the Uttar Pradesh civic polls reaffirmed people's support for the GST, which has made doing business "easier" for traders. At a media briefing, he recalled his party's win in up and Uttarakhand assembly polls and said it had swept "trading hubs" in UP to underline popular support to note ban.
'Cong failed to open an account in UP'
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday took a dig at the Congress and said the party, which was daydreaming of winning the Gujarat Assembly polls, has failed to even open an account in the UP civic polls. "Jo Gujarat jeetne ka sapna dekh rahe hain unka yahan Amethi mein bhi soopda saaf ho gaya hai," he said, ridiculing the Congress.