BJP’s saffron surge in UP

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The BJP has shored up 44.6 per cent of the vote – a significant 5 per cent improvement over the 2017 elections, reports Asian Lite News

Yogi Adityanath will return as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh with the BJP taking an unassailable lead over rivals in India’s politically most vital state with an ever bigger vote share than last time.

The BJP has shored up 44.6 per cent of the vote – a significant 5 per cent improvement over the 2017 elections.

Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party, trailing with roughly half the seats, gained over the last election but fell far short of the party’s expectations.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress were leading in five and four seats respectively. The Apna Dal (Sonelal) was leading in 11 seats and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) in seven, according to latest trends.

Among those leading were Yogi Adityanath from Gorakhpur, Akhilesh Yadav from Karhal, his party’s Shivpal Yadav from Jaswant Nagar, and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya from Sirathu.

With 80 parliamentary seats, Uttar Pradesh holds the key to power at the centre and could offer clues to the national mood before the 2024 general election.

Home to about a fifth of India’s 135 crore people, UP sends the most legislators to parliament of any state.

A majority for the BJP would make it the first party to get a consecutive second term in more than three decades.

The Samajwadi Party, considered the biggest challenger of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, had stitched up a diverse coalition with smaller parties which it had hoped would supplement its Muslim-Yadav support base with voters from the Other Backward Classes.

Exit polls had predicted a comfortable majority for the BJP, despite the government’s much-criticised handling of Covid-19, high unemployment, and anger over farm reforms that were cancelled last year after protests.

The BJP has long predicted it would retain the state because of policies such as free staples for the poor during the pandemic, a crackdown on crime, and its appeal to Hindu voters.

‘Voters have rejected dynasty politics’

The BJP on Thursday claimed that voters have hugely responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to reject dynasty politics.

BJP Rajya Sabha member Vinay Sahasrabuddhe tweeted, “While the final tallies are yet to come, voters have hugely responded to PM @narendramodi Ji’s appeal and REJECTED most Dynasty Based parties!SP in UP, Cong is Goa, Manipur, UK & Punjab, Akali in Punjab and TMC in Goa, facing huge defeat! Lessons for Shiv Sena and NCP if they learn.”

BJP national general secretary (organisation) B.L. Santhosh tweeted, “BJP winning in UP: Declining democratic values, Dismantling of republic etc. AAP winning in Punjab: promise of alternative governance, New hope rising etc. Kuch log sudharenge nahin (some people will not mend themselves).”

Taking a dig at caste politics, Union minister of state and BJP election co-incharge Arjun Ram Meghwal tweeted, “Casteism lost, nationalism won.”

BJP national general secretary C.T. Ravi said that ‘double engine governments are winning across India’.

“Double Engine Governments are winning across India under the leadership of PM Shri @narendramodi. It is very evident that Voters have more faith in the ‘development politics’ of BJP than the ‘appeasement politics’ of the Opposition,” Ravi tweeted.

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