Lucknow: The ruling BJP is headed for a big win in the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council polls, bagging Barabanki and Ayodhya and leading in several other places. But it lost Varanasi to an Independent candidate.
Biennial elections on 36 seats of the Upper House were held in Uttar Pradesh. On nine seats, the BJP nominees won unopposed while voting took place on the remaining 27 seats on April 9.
In Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency, BJP’s Sudama Patel stood at a distant third with just 170 votes as Independent candidate Annapurna Singh secured a resounding victory with 4,234 votes, followed by Samajwadi Party’s Umesh Yadav, who received 345 votes, Varanasi District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma said.
Results coming in from districts said BJP’s Ravishankar Singh Pappu, grandson of former Prime Minister Chandrasekhar, won from Ballia seat, defeating SP’s Arvind Giri by 1,981 votes. In Barabanki, BJP’s Angad Singh trounced Rajesh Kumar Yadav of the SP by 1,745 votes.
The saffron party’s Pawan Kumar Singh trumped Arunesh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party (SP) by 3,692 votes in Sitapur, while in Basti, another BJP leader Subhas Yaduvansh defeated SP’s Santosh Yadav by 4,294 votes.
In Ayodhya, BJP’s Hari Om Pandey defeated Heeralal Yadav of the SP by 1,680 votes on the Faizabad-Ambedkarnagar seat.
Reports coming in from various districts indicate that the BJP is leading in Moradabad-Bijnor, Lucknow-Unnao and Rae Bareli among others, where counting is underway.
A report from Gorakhpur-Maharajganj seat said BJP’s C P Chand secured 4,839 votes while Rajnish Yadav of the SP got 407. The result has not been declared yet.
There were 95 candidates in the fray and polling was held at 739 centres, according to the Uttar Pradesh chief electoral officer.
As many as 1,20,657 voters were eligible to exercise their franchise.
The BJP members were elected unopposed in nine seats — eight local authorities’ constituencies — Budaun, Hardoi, Kheri, Mirzapur-Sonbhadra, Banda-Hamirpur, Aligarh, Bulandshahr and Mathura-Etah-Mainpuri and the Mathura-Etah-Mainpuri local authorities’ constituency.
In the 100-member Legislative Council, the BJP currently has 34 MLCs, the SP 17 and the Bahujan Samaj Party four.
The Congress, the Apna Dal (Sonelal) and the NISHAD party have one member each in the House.
The Teachers’ group has two MLCs, while the Independent group (Nirdal Samooh) and Independents have one MLC each.
Currently, 38 seats are vacant. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath vacated his council seat recently, while former leader of opposition Ahmad Hassan of the SP died in February.
The voters in this biennial election are village pradhans, members and chairman of block development councils and zila panchayats, and corporators in urban areas. MLAs and MPs also vote.
The Congress and the BSP did not field any candidate in the Legislative Council elections, making it a direct fight between the BJP and the SP, the principal opposition in the state assembly.
Of the 36 BJP candidates, five are former SP leaders, who joined the saffron party ahead of the Assembly polls.