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SP wins Panchayat polls but rebels dent jubilation


Lucknow: The Samajwadi Party says it has swept the high-stake district panchayat chief elections, but a scrutiny of the results shows it is not very good news for the Uttar Pradesh’s ruling party as also to most other parties.

Of the 74 districts where elections took place, 59 seats have been won by Samajwadi Party candidates. Of these, 38 got elected unopposed. Opposition parties alleged this happened due to pressure exerted by ministers and the government and not due to popular will.

“The ruling party did everything to lure, threaten and intimidate the panchayat members to ensure a victory,” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.

He said the detention of supporters of opposition candidates and large-scale declaration of invalid votes indicated that all was not well within the Samajwadi Party, with assembly polls just a year away.

The results show that of the 36 places where polling was actually held, the Samajwadi Party won 20 seats. The opposition parties won at 16 places.

The BJP won five seats and four went to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the state’s main opposition party. The Congress and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) won one seat each.

Three seats went to Samajwadi Party rebels who had been either suspended or expelled from the party for contesting against official candidates.

The party had expelled its Sitapur legislator Rampal Yadav for fielding his son Jitendra Yadav, who won against the party’s official candidate.

Similarly, in Unnao, legislator Kuldeep Singh Sengar’s wife Sangeet defeated the party candidate. In Bijnore, suspended legislator Ruchiveera got her husband Udayanveera elected.

BSP leaders accused the ruling party of using all wrong means to coerce panchayat members to vote for Samajwadi Party nominess.

“The fact is the SP has lost and the government has won because it used the official machinery to get past the finishing line”, said a BJP leader.

On Thursday, the Allahabad High Court observed that allegations of intimidation hurled at the ruling party were serious and were a joke on democracy.

The BJP, which keeps claiming it will form the next government in Uttar Pradesh in 2017, was jolted too.

The BJP won only five seats: Mathura, Muzaffarnagar, Shahjahanpur, Fatehpur and Maharajganj.

BSP candidates won in Aligarh, Hathras, Shamli and Mirzapur. The Congress has won in Rae Bareli and the RLD’s seat came from western Uttar Pradesh, its known bastion.

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