By Pradeep Kapoor
LUCKNOW: BJP has consolidated its position in Uttar Pradesh with capturing of four mayor seats and leading in remaining 13 seats out of total 17 seats.
Significantly BJP won mayor seats in Lucknow, Jhansi, Ayodhya and Ghaziabad and was leading in rest of seats which not only strengthened the position of chief minister Yogi Adityanath but also boosted the morale of BJP leaders and workers especially after defeat in Karnataka.
BJP also gave big blow to Samajwadi Party when coalition partner Apna Dal won assembly by-election in Swar seat lying vacant due to disqualification of Abdullah son of powerful Samajwadi Party leader Mohd Azam Khan.
It may be mentioned that chief minister Yogi Adityanath had taken these elections very seriously and addressed many meetings for party candidates all over the state. BJP had deployed senior leaders with other members of Sangh Parivar to campaign for candidates.
BJP also got the advantage by projecting elimination of mafia dons to improve the law and order. The killing of mafia dons Atiq and his brother in Prayagraj also helped in polarisation of votes especially from the majority community.
More so, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had given call for triple engine government for the development of the state. Main opposition party Samajwadi Party could not win single mayor seat but did well in corporators elections and nagar panchayats. Samajwadi Party national president and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav should have given more importance to these polls and addressed more meetings, then the results could have been better.
The alliance of Samajwadi Party with RLD in Western UP cracked as candidates of both the parties contested against each other which helped BJP in a big way. There is a need for review meeting of alliance partners to prevent split of votes in crucial Lok Sabha polls next year.
BSP played aggressive Muslim card and was third after BJP and Samajwadi Party. The only place BSP was noticed that was Agra where candidate was ahead of BJP Mayor candidate after several rounds but ultimately lost the battle.
There is no doubt that aggressive Muslim card played by BSP damaged Samajwadi Party in several places. That is why Akhilesh Yadav had appealed voters to keep away from BSP which was helping BJP.
Congress leadership was embarrassed by the poor performance of candidates in mayoral polls as well as in nagar panchayats. Congress had tough time in finding suitable candidates in several places. It is high time for Congress high command to seriously think about the party organisation before Lok Sabha polls. Congress should decide whether to rebuild the organisation to face Lok Sabha polls or bargain for one or two seats with Samajwadi Party. (IPA Service)