UP Municipal Election Results 2023: Saffron Tsunami Spreads to Urban Pockets | Lucknow News

Lucknow: In the wake of a blitzkrieg campaign led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the Bharatiya Janata Party captured all 17 mayor seats in the state on Saturday. In 2017, he had 14 of 16. Yogi tackled 50 rallies in 12 days to set the tone. The split of Muslim votes – between SP, BSP and AIMIM – also played a significant role in the BJP’s victory over several seats, especially in the western UP.
In 2017, BSP had won the mayoral seats of Aligarh and Meerut. This time, his candidates were ahead in Saharanpur and Agra for quite some time but finally lost to the BJP candidates. Like last time, both SP and Congress failed to open their accounts. The BJP not only performed well on mayoral seats but also significantly improved its tally on 199 Nagar Palika seats and 544 Nagar Panchayat seats.
The BJP winners of mayoral seats were Sushma Kharakwal in Lucknow, Girishpati Tripathi in Ayodhya, Ashok Tiwari in Varanasi, Sunita Dayal in Ghaziabad, Umesh Gautam in Bareilly, Archana Verma in Shahjahanpur, Prashant Singha in Aligarh, Pramila Pandey in Kanpur, Harikant Ahluwalia in Meerut, Bihari Lal Arya in Jhansi, Ganesh Kesarwani in Prayagraj, Mangalesh Srivastav in Gorakhpur, Hemlata Kushwaha in Agra, Vinod Kumar Agarwal in Mathura, Vinod Agarwal in Moradabad, Dr Ajay Kumar in Saharanpur and Kamini Rathore in Firozabad.
Of these, Pramila Pandey in Kanpur, Umesh Gautam in Bareilly and Vinod Agarwal in Moradabad won their seats for the second time in a row. The victor of Meerut, Harikant Ahluwalia, was mayor of the city in the past. The newly built mayoral seat of Shahajahanpur went to Archana Gautam. Interestingly, she was the official candidate of the Samajwadi party, but she switched sides just one day before the last nomination day. She won by a margin of over 30,000 votes.
The BJP’s overall victory in the UP ULB elections strengthened CM Yogi Adityanath’s charisma in the state. Leaving nothing to chance but confident of the BJP’s performance in local government polls, Yogi embarked on a whirlwind tour of the state, taking the campaign to levels seen only at assembly or general election time. Her efforts and trust in him paid off with the BJP winning all 17 mayoral seats, both by poll and by increasing its overall vote share. With this performance, Yogi not only sealed his position as the undisputed face of the party in UP and earned a stamp of approval from the public for his cabinet performance, but this can also be seen as the party’s first big step towards the Lok Sabha of 2024 elections.
The BJP’s spectacular victory was largely the result of the party’s well-oiled organizational machine. Following in Yogi’s footsteps, Deputy Prime Ministers Keshav Maurya and Brajesh Pathak addressed 58 and 54 rallies respectively. “The impeccable coordination of the head of state Bhupendra Chaudhary and the secretary of the organization Dharmpal also played a decisive role,” says a party insider. The victory, experts say, added excitement to the party’s preparations for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
However, a year before the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the ULB poll results signaled a setback to SP chief Akhilesh Yadav’s attempt to project himself as a powerful challenger to the BJP. He has deliberately stayed away from the campaign, facing just nine rallies to avoid a counter-bias of Hindu votes, but his party has failed to open the bill for mayoral seats. Although the SP failed to win any seats in 2017 as well, this time they were hoping to win some in West UP.
Unlike the 2022 assembly polls, there has not been a complete consolidation of Muslim votes in favor of SP. On some seats represented by party MPs, like Moradabad and Sambhal, it failed to finish even in second place. The BSP had fielded 11 Muslim candidates out of 11 out of 17 mayoral seats, which caused a split in the Muslim vote. Also, AIMIM candidates swept away a large portion of minority votes in seats like Meerut, to the benefit of the BJP.
In Saharanpur, BJP Dr. Ajay Kumar, while a political novice, managed to win mainly due to a split of Muslim votes. He defeated BSP’s Khadeeja Masood, the sister-in-law of strong BSP leader Imran Masood. Experts were unsure of the BJP candidate’s victory despite Dr Ajay’s clean image in the city. However, they believe that BJP’s victory came easy here after last minute push by Akhilesh and a roadshow to gather support which became the root cause of Muslim vote split which gave way to BJP’s victory.


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