Wednesday, March 7, 2012

[ZESTCaste] Election results: Mulayam dethrones Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh

Election results: Mulayam dethrones Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh
Ashish Tripathi, TNN | Mar 6, 2012, 10.11PM IST

LUCKNOW: Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party swept to power jolting
Congress party and the BJP in UP assembly polls, the results of which
are a setback to Rahul Gandhi, who acknowledged the "defeat".

SP dethroned BSP leader Mayawati by getting an absolute majority by
comfortably crossing the required 202-mark in the 403 member House.
The SP has won 224 seats. Mayawati was relegated to the second
position ending up close to 80 seats. The Congress, which was hoping
to do well after Rahul Gandhi's extensive campaigning in 207
constituencies, improved its previous tally of 22 seats by winning 26
seats and was leading in another two. The BJP, which had 51 seats, has
won 47.

The SP has crossed the half-way mark in the 2012 Uttar Pradesh
assembly elections and looks all set to form the next government in
the state.

Earlier in the day, state unit president Akhilesh Yadav said party
chief Mulayam Singh Yadav will be the chief minister.

Akhilesh said the party's Parliamentary Board will meet tomorrow to
decide on issues like staking claim before governor B L Joshi to form
the next government. "I have answered this question several times....
We all want netaji (Mulayam) as the Chief Minister," Akhilesh said
seeking to put a lid on speculation that he would be the next chief
minister of the state.

Replying to questions on the possibility of SP seeking support of
independent MLAs, the party's state unit chief said his party will not
take support of "mafia".

On possibility of removing statues of elephants (BSP's election
symbol) as also of outgoing chief minister Mayawati, he said SP has
already made it clear that the statues would not be removed.

SP state president and star campaigner for the party Akhilesh Yadav
said that after formation of the government, the first priority of the
SP would be to provide relief to the farmers through loan waivers and
improvement in power supply. He said that the BSP got five years to
develop the state but it squandered money on parks and stones.
However, he also said that SP will not touch dalit memorials built by
Mayawati. "They will be safe," he said.

What seems to have gone in favour of SP is its image makeover by
Akhilesh. Previous SP rule in 2003-07 was known for poor law and order
but Akhilesh promised to change the order this time. While Mulayam
worked to get back muslims who were angry after he shook hands with
Kalyan Singh in 2009, Akhilesh worked to woo different castes and
communities. He was also able to attract youth.

The BSP is expected to remain second despite a loss of over 100 seats
in comparison to the 206 it got in 2007.

Congress and BJP are likely to improve but are fighting for third and
fourth place.

Congress's ally RLD is also expected to increase its number.

SP seems to be getting support across the state and all castes and
communities, while BSP has suffered losses everywhere but seems to
have retained its Dalit base. However, Mayawati's social engineering
failed as Brahmins and Muslims do not seem to have vote for BSP in
large number as they did in 2007. Congress and BJP seem to have has
excelled in some pockets of UP.

While celebrations have begun in SP head quarters in Lucknow, an eerie
silence prevailed in BSP head office and gates were closed for
visitors. Disappointment was palpable in Congress office, whereas BJP
camp was hopeful of getting more than 100 seats, double of what it got
in 2007.

Reacting to result trends, SP general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav said
that people have voted against five years of misrule in UP. He said
that SP is gaining because it took up public cause for five years
while sitting in opposition. He said that people also compared SP's
previous rule with the present incumbent and found former better.

Congress campaign in UP had created hope of party's revival in the
state. The 4.5% quota for minorities helped party to make inroads in
Muslim community which can tilt balance iin 140 seats in the state.
However, during elections, contradictory statements of Congress
leaders on Batla house encounter and infighting damaged party's

UP Congress president Rita Bahugana Joshi said that though her party
does not seems to be doing well, it would improve its tally. She said
there is a strong anti-incumbency wave against Mayawati regime.

Congress leader Rajiv Shukla said that Rahul Gandhi created a
favourable atmosphere for the party through his work and campaign in
UP. But, he said, party could not convert it into seats because of
absence of party cadre at the ground level. He claimed that in any
case Congress would emerge as key player in UP.

BJP national vice president and candidate from Lucknow East Kalraj
Mishra said that party would do better than 2007. He admitted that
induction of sacked BSP minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, who is prime
accused in NRHM scam and has been arrested by CBI, damaged BJP's
prospect upto some extent in UP. Mishra said that though Kushwaha's
membership was suspended after stiff opposition of his induction
within the party, it dented BJP's attack on Mayawati on the issue of

The BJP has received a strong drubbing in Lucknow, which used to be
its stronghold for long. The party has lost in Lucknow constituency
for the first time since 1991. This was the first elections in which
former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was not in the picture. And
this resulted in crushing defeat for the party.

While UP Congress chief Rita Bahugana Joshi has won from Lucknow Cant,
SP's Ravidas Mehrotra has been elected from Lucknow Central.

SP's Rehan Naim has won from Lucknow West while SP's Abhishek Mishra
(who was a professor in IIM-Ahemdabad) has been elected from Lucknow

Only BJP stalwart Kalraj Mishra, who contested from Lucknow East
constituency, could manage to win in Lucknow.

The BJP also lost in the rural areas of Lucknow. While Kaushal Kishor
of Rashtrawadi Communist Party has won from Malihabad, Chandra Rawat
of SP emerged victorious from Mohanlal Ganj and Sharda Pratap Shukla
of SP from Sarojininagar.

BJP was in a miserable state at the start of election but entry of
fire brand Hindutava leader Uma Bharti galvanized cadre and brought
party back in contest. BJP was also able to polarize votes on communal
lines at few places on the issue of Muslim quota.

Uma Bharti, who was brought from Madhya Pradesh to campaign in UP, was
fielded by BJP from Charkhari seat in Bundelkhand. Uma factor seems to
have worked as BJP is leading in half of total 19 seats in
Bundelkhand. Congress also doing well in Bundelkhand. Congress general
secretary Rahul Gandhi had started his mission UP from Bundelkhand in
2007. He was instrumental in getting over Rs 3000 crore development
package for drought prone region.

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