The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept the municipal corporation polls in Uttar Pradesh Saturday, winning 8 major corporations of the 12 that went to polls after the counting of votes was completed amidst tight security on a rainy day.
The party, which had performed dismally during the recent state assembly polls, made a comeback and did well in other corporations as well, with its candidates for corporators winning in large numbers.
State Election Commission officials told IANS that a final picture of the results would only be clear late in the night or early Sunday as the rains had delayed counting at many places across the state.
The most significant win for the BJP came from Lucknow where the incumbent mayor Dinesh Sharma pulled off a massive victory, defeating his nearest Congress rival Neeraj Bora with over one lakh votes.
State Election Commissioner S.K. Agarwal said in Moradabad, the BJP's Bina Agarwal defeated her nearest Peace Party rival Humayun Kabeer with a huge margin while in Aligarh, the BJP candidate for the mayor's post Shakuntala Bharati won by defeating independent candidate Raziya Khan.
In a direct contest in Gorakhpur, BJP's Satya Pandey defeated Congress candidate Sujeet Kareem while in Jhansi BJP's Kiran Verma won the mayoral seat by defeating Nirmala Bilhariya of the Congress.
In Kanpur, a traditional Congress stronghold, the BJP's Jagat Veer Singh Drona defeated his nearest Congress rival Pawan Gupta. In Varanasi, BJP candidate for the mayor's seat Ram Gopal Modle defeated his Congress rival Ashok Singh, and in Meerut BJP's Harikant Ahluwalia defeated his Congress rival Devendra Singh with a huge margin.
In Bareilly, Independent candidate I.S. Tomar defeated his BJP rival Gulshan Anand.
In another politically significant city, Allahabad, another traditional Congress bastion, Independent Abhilasha Gupta defeated her nearest BJP rival Kamla Singh. She is the wife of former BSP minister Nand Kumar Gupta 'Nandi'.
In Agra, BJP candidate Indrajit Balmiki won the mayor's seat.
According to the State Election Commission, in the 186 Nagar Palika Parishads for which the elections were held, of the results announced, BJP has won 8, Congress 2, Independents 14.
Other than this, of the 388 Nagar Panchayat elections, so far the BJP has won 7, Congress 5, Independents 40. Of the total 980 corporator seats in the state, 97 have so far gone to the BJP, Congress 21 and 144 have been won by Independents.
In the 2006 elections, the BJP had won 8 mayoral seats, Congress had won 3 and Samajwadi Party had won one mayoral seat. This time the Congress has failed to win a single mayor's seat.
Visibly elated at the success, state BJP chief Laxmikant Bajpayi termed the victory as that of the BJP workers and the people. "These elections were fought not on individual egos but collective responsibility," Bajpayi told IANS.