UP civic polls : BJP ahead everywhere

Lucknow: The ruling BJP today forged ahead of its rivals, leading on 14 of the 16 mayoral seats in Uttar Pradesh where the civic bodies polls were held in three phases. In the remaining two places, the BSP was leading, according to early trends of counting for all 652 urban local bodies that began at 8am.
BJP candidates were leading in seats including Lucknow, Allahabad, Aligarh, Varanasi, Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur, Faizabad and Moradabad municipal corporations while the BSP was ahead in Jhansi and Agra municipal corporations. The civic polls are being seen as a referendum of Yogi Adityanath government’s performance in the past seven months. The BJP won 10 out of 12 mayoral seats in 2012.
Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma said people have shown full faith in the BJP and its ideology and discarded the SP, the BSP and the Congress. “The SP, the BSP and the Congress contested the polls as each other’s relatives. “I am going to Gujarat today with a positive message from UP,” the deputy CM said.
These elections are being viewed as a litmus test for the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress as well. The BSP, which has been on the sidelines of politics in the state ever since it lost power to SP in 2012 and lost two successive elections — 2014 general elections and the 2017 state Assembly elections, contested the urban body polls for the first time on party symbol.
This is being seen as a desperate attempt by BSP supreme Mayawati to stay relevant in the state, which she has ruled four times. The final results are expected by this evening. Results will be communicated to the candidates through SMS on their registered mobile numbers.(Agencies)