Debating India


SP suffers reverses in U.P. mayoral polls

Wednesday 8 November 2006, by KHAN*Atiq

But it surges aheadin elections to Nagar Palika and Nagar Panchayats

LUCKNOW: Even as the ruling Samajwadi Party suffered reverses in the 12 mayoral elections in Uttar Pradesh, it came back strongly in the elections to the Nagar Palika Parishads and Nagar Panchayats (semi-urban and town areas) having surged ahead of its electoral rivals, the BJP and the Congress.

In the corporators’ elections in the 12 Municipal Corporations (Nagar Nigams), the ruling party’s tally, according to the latest available information, was second behind the BJP’s.

In the mayoral polls it was the BJP that virtually swept its adversaries by winning five mayors’ seats.

While the Samajwadi Party had to rest content with the Moradabad seat, the Congress cashed in on the anti-incumbency factor in the urban areas by triumphing in Bareilly and Allahabad.

Populist schemes

The Samajwadi Party’s dismal performance in the mayoral elections comes against the background of the populist Kanya Vidya Dhan and unemployment allowance schemes of Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.

The Opposition parties had alleged that these schemes were meant to lure the urban voters, particularly the youth. Mr. Yadav was also on record claiming that this time round the SP would get urban votes, which is why the Congress and the BJP were worried.

Mr. Yadav’s brother, PWD and Energy Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav, said at a press conference here on Tuesday that the party was not unduly worried by the setback.

He described the SP’s performance as "no-profit, no-loss" since the party had won one mayor’s election in the 2000 local bodies elections and this time round too it won a single seat.

He, however, played down the party’s reverses in the strongholds of Mainpuri, Etah and Auraiya, and the fact that several Samajwadi rebels, including a close relative of the Chief Minister’s wife (he won the Bidhuna Nagar Panchayat chairman’s election in Auraiya district) won at the expense of the official candidates.

Describing the BJP’s showing and the SP’s performance in the mayoral polls as a referendum on the Mulayam Government, BJP State president Kesari Nath Tripathi said the results had proved pre-poll predictions wrong which had written off the BJP.

He claimed that the BJP had won 52 Nagar Palika chairmen posts and around 70 Nagar Panchayat president seats.

The SP claimed that 81 party candidates were elected Nagar Palika Parishad chairmen and 185 Nagar Panchayat chairmen.

See online : The Hindu

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