BJP bags 14 of 16 mayoral seats, Cong setback in Amethi
Lucknow: Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has delivered in his first big test, with the BJP winning mayoral elections in 14 of 16 municipal corporations in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress faced the embarrasment 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.
BJP also scored impressive victories in Kanpur and Ghaziabad with its nominees emerging victors by a margin of over a lakh votes.
The results are all the more a boost to the BJP as they come days before the high-stakes Gujarat Assembly polls.
In Ayodhya, BJP's Rishikesh Upadhyay secured 44,642 votes and defeated his nearest rival SP candidate Gulshan Bindu, a transgender by 3,601 votes.
Prime Minister Modi's constituency Varanasi saw BJP candidate Mridula Jaiswal defeating nearest rival Shalini (Cong) by an impressive 78,843 votes. In Gorakhpur, BJP candidate Sitaram Jaiswal defeated Rahul Gupta of Samajwadi Party by 75,823 votes.
In Aligarh, however, BSP's Mohammad Furqan wrested the BJP stronghold defeating it's nominee Rajiv Agarwal by a margin of 11,990 votes in a direct contest.
Buoyed by the latest GDP growth figures and the BJP's landslide victory in the Uttar Pradesh civic polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that good news is pouring in from all sides, and despite the criticism from various quarters, India is moving ahead with confidence.
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.
Adityanath who went on a whirlwind tour of the state to ensure the victory of his party candidates described it as a "historic win". He credited the success to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision and Shah's guidance.
The BJP will now look forward to achieving the goal of one hundred percent success in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he said. Adityanath also pointed out that the Congress has been wiped out in its pocket-borough of Amethi.
UP civic polls officials confirmed a win for the BJP in Amethi, a traditional Congress bastion.
The Congress lost in Jais and Gauriganj where Nagar Palika polls were held. In Amethi and Musafirkhana, where Nagar Panchayat polls were conducted, the party had not fielded candidates.
SP leader and MLC Rajpal Kashyap alleged it was "disheartening" that the BJP gained on places where EVMs were used. The SP is closely analysing the results, he said.