Immediately after the results were announced, chief minister Yogi Adityanath told reporters that it was a mandate for the policy of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas Sabka Vishwas’.
According to reports, the BJP-supported candidates contested on 735 seats, while 14 seats were given to its ally Apna Dal (S). The party also gave an unannounced support to 76 candidates while agreeing not to field its officially supported candidates. As results trickled in, BJP and its ally AD (S) supported candidates were poised for a win on 635 seats. The Samajwadi Party-backed candidates, according to reports, won in over 70 seats, while Congress supported candidates managed a win on just two seats. The independents won around 95 seats.
A day ago, as many as 349 candidates were elected unopposed after 187 candidates took back their nomination papers on Friday. Polling for the remaining 476 seats were conducted on Saturday. The BJP had claimed that its supported candidates won unopposed on 334 seats.
As soon as results projected BJP-supported candidates victory on most of the seats, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath reached state BJP office along with his deputy Dinesh Sharma and UP BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh. Yogi’s presence at the party office raised much curiosity and was seen as a party bid to credit him for BJP’s victory in the rural polls. This was almost a repeat of July 3 when Swatantra Dev reached Yogi’s official residence after victory of party-supported candidates in the Zila Panchayat chairman elections.
Speaking to reporters, Yogi said that the victory in the rural polls were a reflection of people’s mandate for PM Narendra Modi‘s policy of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas Sabka Vishwas’. He said that it was also a stamp on policies of the Centre and the state government and a robust law and order situation in the state. “It was unlike in the previous regimes when anarchy prevailed and criminals held sway,” he said. Significantly, the block pramukh polling got marred by reports of violence stemming from clashes between the BJP and the Samajwadi Party workers in various parts of the state.
Yogi maintained that rural development was at the focus of the state government’s development agenda and the rural local bodies would contribute their bit in achieving the goal. He said he hoped that the three tier rural local bodies would further strengthen the Panchayati Raj system.
The Samajwadi Party, which was in direct contest with the BJP, accused the ruling party of resorting to misuse of government machinery. There were also incidents of violence reported from various parts of the state during filing of nomination papers. SP announced of staging a protest on July 15 against what it called “murder of democracy” by the BJP.