While local body polls are not fought on party lines, candidates are backed by parties
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday claimed that the party had been the “first preference” of voters in the Uttar Pradesh panchayat polls, counting for which has been going on since May 2.
“The victory of the Samajwadi Party in large numbers is a clear indication that is had acceptability among the farmers, youth and in villages,” Mr. Yadav said in a statement.
However, the BJP on Monday evening claimed that it was ahead of the other parties and candidates linked to it had won 918 zilla panchayat member seats while on 557 others they enjoyed a decisive lead.
Parties do not issue their symbols for the three-tier panchayat polls but indicate the candidates they support in the zilla panchayat election.
The SP did not mention specific number of candidates supported by it who won. Party spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary, however, claimed that the BJP received a jolt in both Gorakhpur and Varanasi, the political home ground of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, respectively. The SP also received huge success in Lucknow, he said, adding that the BJP’s “tricks” failed to work even in Prayagraj, Etawah and Azamgarh.
The State Election Commission on Monday evening said that so far 2.32 lakh gram panchayat members, 38,317 gram panchayat pradhans, 55,925 kshetra panchayat members and 181 Zilla Panchayat members have been elected.