Lucknow, May 4 (PTI) As results for the Uttar Pradesh panchayat polls started trickling in Tuesday night, rival political parties claimed sterling performances, apparently taking advantage of the fact that these elections were not contested on party symbols.
SP spokesperson Anurag Bhadauria told PTI, 'Samajwadi Party-backed candidates have won 760 seats for the post of zila panchayat members.' AAP leader Vaibhav Maheshwari said that 71 candidates backed by the party have won the post of zila panchayat members.
UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu also told PTI that 389 party supported candidates have won the zila panchayat members' post. He said that a large number of party-backed candidates have won the post of pradhan of village panchayats as well. UP BJP chief Swatantradev Singh said party workers have emerged victorious for the posts of members of zila panchayats, members of kshetra panchayats and village pradhans.
He also claimed that after the results, the party will get into formation of zila panchayat and kshetra panchayat boards.
The BJP had on Monday claimed 918 party candidates have been elected for zila panchayats while over 500 are leading.
In a statement issued here, Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Swatantradev Singh had said that in the three-tier panchayat election in the state, over 45,000 party-supported candidates have won the post of village pradhan, while more than 60,000 party-supported candidates have emerged victorious as members of kshetra panchayats. 'As many as 918 party-supported candidates have won the post of members of zila panchayat,' he had said.
'On more than 450 seats, the party-supported candidates have taken a decisive lead,' Singh had said, attributing the performances to rural development and farmers' welfare ensured by the Yogi Adityanath government in the state. A senior State Election Commission (SEC) official said Tuesday evening that counting of votes for members of village panchayat, pradhans of village panchayat and members of kshetra panchayat has been completed.
Only the counting of votes polled to elect zila panchayat members is left.
At the end of counting, result sheets are being tallied and declaration of seats was likely to be done late Tuesday night, the SEC official said.
The SEC also said that there should not be any delay in handing over the certificates to the winning candidates, and strict action will be initiated against officials concerned in case of any complaint.
The counting of votes began Sunday morning at more than 825 centres across the 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh. Over 8.69 lakh posts were up for grabs in these polls. Of these posts, more than 7.32 lakh seats were in the gram panchayat wards, 58,176 in the gram panchayats, 75,852 in the kshetra (block) panchayats and 3,050 in the zila panchayats.
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav, on Tuesday claimed that in the UP panchayat polls people gave first priority to his party and said that they did a tremendous job to save the democracy by electing his party candidates. 'Even in the Prime Minister's constituency (Varanasi) and CM's turf (Gorakhpur), the BJP had to taste defeat. In Lucknow too, the BJP had to taste defeat despite misuse of official machinery,' the SP chief said.
He said, 'The panchayat election results showed that the BJP is now a sinking ship. Signals emanating from the panchayat polls in the state show that the BJP will be wiped out in 2022 (UP Assembly elections),' he said.
The state election commission said over 3.19 lakh candidates were elected unopposed in the panchayat election. In all, there were over 12.89 lakh candidates in the poll fray. Uttar Pradesh held panchayat polls in four phases ending April 29 in which candidates contested on free symbols given by the SEC. The election was held at four levels of panchayat bodies --- gram panchayat members, gram pradhan, block panchayat and zila panchayat.
In Ayodhya, the BJP won just eight out of the 40 zila panchayat seats, a disappointment for the ruling party in the district on which the Centre and the state government have lavished much attention.
The opposition Samajwadi Party claimed to have made major gains in the panchayat elections, saying candidates it backed won 22 district level seats in Ayodhya.
The Bahujan Samaj Party claimed its candidates won four zila panchayat seats in Ayodhya.
Contrary to the BJP's claim of overall success in the state, its Ayodhya unit has conceded that it did not do as well as expected.
'The results are disappointing. Despite having sitting BJP MLAs in all constituencies in Ayodhya district, we won only eight out of 40 zila panchayat seats,' BJP's district spokesperson Diwakar Singh told PTI.
The Samajwadi Party claimed to have won three of the four zila panchayat seats there, leaving one for an independent candidate. PTI NAV ABN CORR SMI TIR TIR