SP too claims victory in UP panchayat polls, Akhilesh calls BJP 'sinking ship'

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Lucknow, May 4 (PTI) Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday said the ruling BJP was a “sinking ship”, claiming that his own party has scored big in the panchayat polls and was set to win the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections next year.

The SP becomes the latest party to claim “victory” in the state-wide panchayat elections, for which ballot papers were being counted since Sunday.

On Monday, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Aam Aadmi Party claimed they had won a major chunk of the seats in the four-phase elections.

Yadav said by voting for the SP, the people of the state had done a tremendous job of “saving democracy”, and also referred to assembly poll results in West Bengal, where the Trinamool Congress defeated the BJP.

The four-phase panchayat polls were fought on free symbols allotted by the State Election Commission (SEC). Political parties, however, supported candidates for lakhs of posts from village to the district panchayat level.

'The SP became the first priority of the people in the panchayat polls. The victory of party candidates in large numbers shows that there is an acceptance of the party among farmers, the youth and villagers too,” Yadav said in a statement.

“By ensuring victory to the party candidates, the people did a tremendous job of saving democracy,' he added.

Alleging that BJP was making false claims on its victory, the SP leader said the reality was that the BJP dream to win the panchayat elections shattered.

'Even in the prime minister's constituency (Varanasi) and the CM’s district (Gorakhpur) the BJP had to taste defeat,” he claimed.

He said none of the BJP “tricks” worked anywhere, “from Azamgarh to Etawah”.

“Even in Lucknow, the BJP had to taste defeat despite the misuse of official machinery,' he alleged.

“The panchayat election results showed that the BJP is now a sinking ship,” he said.

'The politics of hatred practised by BJP was rejected by people in West Bengal. The signals from the panchayat polls in the state show that BJP will be wiped out in 2022,’ he said, referring to the assembly elections due next year.

“A few days are left for the formation of the SP government and removal of the present BJP government,' the opposition leader said.

The SP has not yet released a list of “winning candidates” from the party. PTI ABN ASH ASH