Lucknow | Jagran Politics Desk: Pitted as the 'mother of all polls' this year, the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections would be a keen contest to watch as the Yogi Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prepares to retain power in the state. The BJP considers the Uttar Pradesh elections as 'semi-finals' for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, and thus have exerted its full strength.

Not just the BJP, but Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party, Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Congress under Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also know the importance of the 2017 Uttar Pradesh polls and thus are trying their best to gain public support to ouster the saffron party from power in the state.

The previous elections in Uttar Pradesh were one-sided with the BJP sweeping the polls, thanks to the Modi wave. The saffron party, which returned to power in Uttar Pradesh after over 18 years, had won 312 seats with a 39.67 per cent vote share. The BJP received over 3.44 crore votes and its percentage point was up by 24.7 per cent.

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On the other hand, Akhilesh Yadav was ousted from power. His Samajwadi Party won just 47 seats, receiving 1.89 crore votes with a 21.82 per cent vote share. Its percentage point also dipped by 7.7 per cent.

Mayawati's BSP also had a forgettable show as it won just 19 seats. Receiving just 1.92 crore votes, the BSP had a 22.23 per cent vote share while its percentage point plunged by 3.7 per cent.

Congress also performed miserably, winning just seven seats with 54.16 lakh votes. It had a 6.25 per cent vote share with its percentage point dropping by 5.4 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) - which contested 277 seats - bagged just one seat with 15.45 lakh votes. It had a vote share of 1.78 per cent while its percentage point dipped by 0.55 per cent.

This year, it would be interesting to see who would win the battle for Uttar Pradesh. However, some opinion polls have suggested that the BJP would form the government once again but its tally would come down. On the other hand, the Samajwadi Party's tally would improve but it won't be able to form the government.

Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh are scheduled to be held in February or March this year.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma