New Delhi: Three days after the counting of votes for UP panchayat elections began, the picture is now clear. It shows that the BJP has suffered a big loss in these elections. Although in these elections, political parties do not field candidates with their election symbol, but they do support them. This was done on a large scale this time.
Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary on Wednesday (May 5) explained the significance of the results of UP panchayat elections and its implications on the assembly elections next year.
This time, almost all major parties released a list of candidates who had their support. That is why the defeat of these candidates is being considered as defeat of these parties.
A total of 3050 seats went to polls in Uttar Pradesh. Out of the total, the Independents won 1081 seats, Samajwadi Party-supported candidates won 851 seats, 618 BJP-backed candidates won, while only 320 of the candidates supported by the BSP made the cut.
Apart from this, 47 candidates of Apna Dal and 68 candidates supported by Ajit Chaudhary’s RLD won the election. Congress-backed candidates won 65 seats.
In simple terms, it can be said that the ruling party BJP lost to the Samajwadi Party in the panchayat elections which bagged 233 more seats. The performance of BSP also improved.
The results of the panchayat elections usually follow a trend that candidates having the support of the ruling party win more seats. But this time it did not happen as BJP got fewer seats.
Notably, even in Ayodhya, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Kanpur and Mathura, the Samajwadi Party easily defeated the BJP. These are the districts where BJP is considered to have a lot of influence. And the Prime Minister himself is an MP from Varanasi. But BJP still lost here.
In the panchayat elections of Varanasi, the Samajwadi Party won 15 seats, the highest for any party. Independents won 8 seats while BJP got 7 seats. BSP and Congress got 5 seats each.
Similar results were seen in Ayodhya, where Samajwadi Party got 21 seats out of 40 seats and BJP was reduced to just 8 seats.
In Purvanchal, the Samajwadi Party left the BJP behind, while the BSP’s influence in western UP showed. In Mathura, BSP-backed candidates defeated BJP.
In the 2017 assembly elections, BJP got 312 seats out of 403, which means the BJP’s strike rate was 77 percent. Then in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, it got 62 seats out of 80 seats in UP i.e. the strike rate was the same as it was in 2017. But in the panchayat elections, the BJP’s strike rate was reduced to only 25 percent of the seats. And this is a huge decline.
These panchayat poll results are significant because next year the Vidhan Sabha elections are to be held in Uttar Pradesh. If we consider these elections as the semi-final of UP, then what does it means for the assembly elections?
Key takeaways from UP panchayat elections:
1. In the assembly elections next year, the biggest party in front of BJP will be Samajwadi Party, that is, Yogi Adityanath Vs. Akhilesh Yadav.
2. In the Panchayat elections, BJP suffered the most damage in the Purvanchal, Awadh and Central UP. These are the areas where the BJP has a lot of influence and in most of the seats the BJP has its own MPs and MLAs. But after these results, things look difficult for BJP.
3. Ajit Chaudhary’s RLD and BSP are influential in some places in Western UP. In such a situation, BJP will have to work in these places too.
4. The main reason for BJP’s defeat is the disenchantment of people belonging to rural areas. This worked in favour of Samajwadi Party.
5. There is still a lot of difference between panchayat elections and assembly elections. The issues are different and more importantly, the parties are directly face to face with their symbol.
So, what just happened in the panchayat elections may not repeat next year, but it sure gives some clues for the assembly elections next year. This could be a wake-up call for the BJP.