New Delhi: In a remarkable change of fortunes in Uttar Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party is set to return to power after 14 years as it has swept the state by winning over 300 seats. This is the party has garnered its highest ever seats in the state so far, considering that this was only the second time it won with a comfortable majority. The last time it crossed the 2/3rd mark was in 1991, at the height of the Ram Janam Bhoomi movement, when it won 221 seats.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held as many as 24 rallies in Uttar Pradesh, just seven shy of his previous best 31 in Bihar. Despite the BJP failing to win Bihar elections in 2015, it did not stop the Prime Minister from crisscrossing Uttar Pradesh. He campaigned in areas such as Meerut, Agra, Ghaziabad, Bijnaur, Badaun, Lakhimpur Kheri, Kannauj, Hardoi, Barabanki, Fatehpur, Urai, Allahabad, Basti, Bahraich and Gonda. Apart from a few seats in Agra and Meerut, the BJP is leading in remaining constituencies. The PM also failed to swing Kannauj, Hardoi and Barabanki from Samajwadi Party, according to latest trends.
In Agra, the BJP is leading in seven out of the nine seats. The BSP is leading in the other two. Union Minister Smriti Irani credited PM Modi for the party's historic win. "This is a win of Modiji's leadership and Amit Shah ji's hard work. It has broken all barriers of religion, caste, creed etc," he said.
BJP national president Amit Shah was addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in Ashoka Road, Delhi.
When asked if he would be interested in taking over the reigns in Uttar Pradesh as chief minister, Amit Shah said: "I have lots of work pending and I am not even a voter in UP." He says the Parliamentary Board Committee will meet tomorrow around six in the evening and pick a chief minister for all states in which it will form the government.
The SP-Congress alliance appears to have failed as the latter contested in 105 seats and is leading in just eight of those. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will address a press conference around 5 pm today evening. Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Surjewala said the two parties entered into an alliance for "vikas" and the public did not accept them. "Jeet ka ghamand nahi, haar bhi ek nayi seekh sikhati hai,".
Here is a quick roundup of all the seats from around Uttar Pradesh:
- · UP Minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapti (23,578) is trailing in Amethi to BJP's Garima Singh (27,977).
- · BJP's Reeta Bhahuguna Joshi (48,038) is leading by over 25,000 votes in Lucknow cantonment against Mulayam Singh Yadav's daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav (23,380).
- · In Mulayam's Lok Sabha Azamgarh, SP candidate Durga Prasad (31,544) is leading with close to 10,000 votes.
- · In riot-hit areas Muzaffarnagar and Shamli, the Samajwadi Party is likely to win the former while Shamli will go to the BJP.
- · In Kannauj, it is a tight race between the BJP and SP candidates. In Mau, BSP's Mukhtar Ansari is trailing by close to 3,000 votes.
- · In Mainpuri, BJP candidate Ashok Kumar has a lead of over 3,000 votes.
- · In the holy city of Mathura, BJP's Shrikant Sharma is leading with 31,249 votes — over 20,000 votes over his nearest rival. The BJP is leading in all eight constituencies in Varanasi.
- · The BJP candidate in the Muslim-dominated Deoband seat is leading with over 10,000 votes over his nearest rival. BSP's Majid Ali trails with 24,823 votes and SP's Mavia Ali with 17,125 votes.
- · Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan is leading with over 8,000 votes in Rampur. Rape-accused UP Minister, Gaytri Prajapati is trailing to BJP's Garima Singh in Amethi. The margin is just over 500 votes. In Shamli, which witnessed riots in 2013, BJP candidate Tejendra Nirwal is leading with close to 20,000 votes over Congress candidate Pankaj Kumar Malik.
Post poll rout, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav sought an appointment with Governor Ram Naik at 6 pm today to tender his resignation.