New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Uttar Pradesh State Election Commission (SEC) has informed that the counting for the UP Panchayat Elections 2021 to elect the members of the three-tier panchayat system has been completed for all. The counting of votes began Sunday morning at more than 825 centres across the 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh.

Now, in the results for the panchayat polls, which are considered as the semi-finals for the UP Assembly Elections 2022, the ruling BJP has suffered a major setback in its stronghold places. In the Ayodhya district, where elections were held for 40 Zila Panchayat wards, the saffron-brigade backed candidates could only manage to win 8, while the candidates supported by Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party (SP) bagged 24 seats of the total. Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party remains a distant third with wins of 4 seats while independents grabbed six Zila panchayat seats.

This comes as an embarrassment for the BJP amid the buzz over the construction of Ram Temple. The Ayodhya unit of the BJP has also conceded its defeat and said that it did not do as well as expected. “The results are disappointing. Despite having sitting BJP MLAs in all constituencies in the Ayodhya district, we won only eight out of 40 Zila panchayat seats,” BJP's district spokesperson Diwakar Singh said as quoted by PTI.

Meanwhile, in PM Modi's parliamentary constituency, Varanasi, the BJP again won only eight seats out of the total 40 Zila Panchayat wards, while the Samajwadi Party won 15 seats. Meanwhile, the BSP won five seats while Apna Dal has won three seats and the Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party has won one seat. Three seats have been won by independents.

The result has been particularly bad for the BJP in the Sohawal sub-district, where the administration handed over five acres for the construction of a mosque, as mandated by the Supreme Court in its 2019 verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute. SP claimed to have won three of the four zila panchayat seats there, leaving one for an independent candidate.

In the temple town of Mathura, where elections were held on 33 Zila Panchayat seats, Mayawati's BSP emerged as the biggest gainer with wins on 13 seats while the BJP again managed to wrest only eight. SP managed to win only 1 seat in Mathura while RLD and Independents won 8 and 3 seats respectively. Varanasi and Ayodhya have been the focal point of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's development policies and the two cities are being developed as the hub of religious tourism.

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.

Lakhs of candidates contested the panchayat elections across Uttar Pradesh -- for seats at four levels including the village and the district -- on free symbols allotted by the SEC. The parties had, however, extended support to those in the fray and are now claiming that the results have gone in their favour. Counting of the ballot papers began Sunday at over 800 centres across the state.

 

(With Agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan