SP advances in UP panchayat polls, BJP opens secondary channel talks with independents | India News
Candidates and their supporters await the results while officers are busy Counting the votes of Zila and Gram Panchayat in Prayagraj (PTI)
LUCKNOW / AGRA: The Samajwadi Party (SP) is making headway in the Uttar Pradesh panchayat polls, considered the benchmark for high-risk assembly polls next year, with counting trends indicating that SP-supported candidates were at the head in 747 zila panchayat districts, while BJP-backed nominees led or have won 666 seats.
This has led the BJP to fight to open secondary channel negotiations with independents who have won or are leading in 3,050 zila panchayat districts to take control of the upper level of rural local bodies.
Top BJP sources said the party is trying to reach 1,238 independent candidates to snatch the maximum number of presidential positions from zila panchayat, which would be carried out through indirect elections.
Trends show that candidates supported by BSP and Congress were leading in more than 322 and 77 zila panchayat districts, respectively.
Although the panchayat polls are not disputed over party symbols, parties present their candidates and electoral campaigns are conducted centrally.
A senior BJP official confirmed that the party was in contact with independents, who also include party rebels. “The Panchayat elections have more to do with influential local candidates competing without the support of any political party. That is why most of the winners or favorites are independent. We send our party officials to cultivate grassroots leadership, which is the key for any political party, “said UP Vice President of the BJP and party in charge of the panchayat elections, Vijay Bahadur Pathak.
While Pathak declined to comment on the indirect talks with the independents, experts said the BJP enjoys the advantage of being the ruling party and would gain the support of the independents to win Zila Panchayat president posts.
BJP fared poorly even in places where it provided strategic support. In Mainpuri, the party did not take advantage of the ropes of Sandhya Yadav, niece of the Samajwadi Party patriarch, Mulayam Singh Yadav. Sandhya was defeated by the candidate supported by SP Pramod Yadav. While SP won 12 seats, BJP got eight seats. Congress won one seat and nine went to independent candidates.
In Aligarh, the Independents took the show by winning 21 of the 47 seats. BJP and SP won nine and seven seats, respectively.
SP main spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary said the party’s impressive performance was despite the BJP deploying all of its political machinery, including MPs, MPs and ministers, in the villages. “The voting pattern in the panchayat elections is an indicator of what awaits us in the 2022 assembly elections. People have understood the true face and governance of the BJP,” he said.
Chaudhary claimed that the party had also decided to leave the seats where the independent candidates were in a better position. “Independents will not be trampled by BJP,” he said.
However, BJP State Secretary Vijay Shivhare claimed that most of the independent candidates who won were from the BJP, so the party had “won significantly”.