BSP sweeps Legislative Council elections in UP
13 Jan 2010, 1933 hrs IST, Man Mohan Rai, ET Bureau
LUCKNOW: In a major blow to the crisis ridden Samajwadi Party and the
much talked about 'resurgent' Congress, the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party
a clean sweep of the Legislative Council elections in the state.
Though the ruling party of the day has in the past also managed to
emerge as the winner in MLC elections, the BSP has managed an
impressive birthday gift for its czarina Mayawati, sweeping seats
across the state.
Biennial elections to 36 MLC seats were held last week with results of
33 being declared on Wednesday (counting of the three remaining seats
will be held on Thursday as per Election Commission directives).
BSP which did not hold any of these seats, bagged 31 of the 33 results
declared, while the Congress and the Samajwadi Party only managing to
open their account on one seat each.
The Congress failed to win in its recently discovered 'strongholds'
and adding to the ignominy was the defeat in the Sultanpur-Amethi
seat, which falls under the Gandhi bastion. Amethi parliamentary seat
is represented by the Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, but the
party candidate was relegated to the fourth position on the
Sultanpur-Amethi council seat with BSP's Ashok Singh emerging
victorious by defeating SP's Sahilendra Singh by 608 votes.
The Congress, which fielded 21 candidates, could only win in Rae
Bareli, represented by Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the
parliament, losing out on all the other seats. Congress candidate
Dinesh Pratap Singh defeated BSP's Rakesh Pratap Singh to emerge as
the sole Congress winner in this election.
The Samajwadi Party which fielded 32 candidates could only win from
the Pratapgarh seat which is the stronghold of SP MLA Raghuraj Pratap
Singh "Raja Bhaiyya". Singh's cousin, former MP Akshay Pratap Singh
emerged victorious from the seat.
The Bhartiya Janta Party which had fielded 23 seats failed to open its account.
Mayawati's BSP did not hold any of the 36 seats, which went to polls
last week. Infact it was the opposition Samajwadi Party which
dominated the council, posing several legislative problems for the
ruling party of the state.
Of the 36 seats which went to polls the SP held 22, BJP 6, RLD 2 seats
with the Congress and SJP of late Prime Minister Chandrashekhar
holding one each. Four seats had fallen vacant due to resignations and
death of a BJP MLC.
The sweeping victory would help the BSP establish its dominance in the
100 member legislative council also.
The opposition parties said that the results were rigged by strong arm
tactics of the ruling party. Opposition leaders said that the BSP
leaders along with government and police officials pressurised their
voters to ensure the victory of BSP candidates.
The near rout of the Samajwadi Party in the council elections comes
immediately after it failed to win any of the 11 assembly seats for
which by-elections were held in November. It had also suffered the
ignominy of losing the Firozabad parliamentary by-election from were
SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's daughter in law Dimple was contesting.
The defeat in Firozabad had led to fissures within the top leadership
of the SP coming forth.
The then SP general secretary Amar Singh had blamed the overconfidence
of the Yadav family which resulted in a war of words between Singh and
Yadav family members leading to Singh's resignation from all party
posts just a day before the polling for council elections.
For Mayawati though, who would be celebrating her much talked about
birthday on January 15, in a low key fashion this year, the BSP clean
sweep would be a fitting present.
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