India underwent several electoral events amid the horrific second wave of COVID-19. People died, a process continued and now even the results are out. While citizens in West Bengal, Kerala, Assam, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry chose their representatives for their legislative assemblies, Uttar Pradesh had their panchayat polls. The main subject of this article is to evaluate the results of UP Panchayat Polls. The same polls went on despite the terrible health emergency the state was/is facing. The same polls claimed the lives of at least 700 government school staff while carrying out election duties, as claimed by the State Teacher’s Union in a letter to the CM of UP. The irony of the results is that BJP lost the panchayat elections in cities such as Ayodhya, Mathura, and Varanasi.
Uttar Pradesh Panchayat Poll’s results were announced on Tuesday. The ruling party BJP has suffered a setback as it lost key cities to Samajwadi Party which is in opposition in the state. While the rural polls are not fought on party symbols, most parties have backed specific candidates. As per the results, BJP had claimed victory in 900 of the 3030 Zila panchayat wards it contested, while SP claims to have won 1000 seats, BSP 300 seats, Congress and AAP bagged 70 seats each. This setback to BJP comes a year before the crucial UP polls. This panchayat poll was seen as a semi-final to the grand finale of Assembly Elections in the state next year. BJP being the ruling party and not coming out as a clear victor must be a matter of concern for the top command of the saffron brigade as UP is a state which they since the beginning rely upon the most.
Referring to the results, a BJP spokesperson said the party would introspect on the reasons behind the party’s defeat in Ayodhya and Varanasi. “Cadres have been complaining about long that their grievances are not being addressed in the districts where officials call the shots. This is a warning signal for us and we need to set things right before the Assembly polls next year,” news agency IANS quoted him as saying.
Besides losing in Varanasi, Mathura, and Ayodhya, BJP even lost in Gorakhpur which is the city of Yogi Adityanath the cow-loving CM of Uttar Pradesh. In Varanasi, Akhilesh led Samajwadi Party bagged 15/40 seats while BJP could only manage 8. In Ayodhya, SP got 24/40 seats while BJP could get only 6. In Gorakhpur, BJP could only win 20/68 seats, and in Mathura 8 out of 33 seats.
Varanasi, the city which was in a way adopted by our respected PM Narendra Modi. Ayodhya, the city where the BJP fulfilled the promise of a bhavya Ram Mandir. Mathura, the ancient city of Hindu culture, the same Hindu culture whose protector BJP portrays itself to be, and finally, Gorakhpur the city of Yogi Adityanath himself. Losing in all of these key cities in Uttar Pradesh in a root-level election may jolt the very base of the politics BJP thrives in. The locals are rejecting BJP in Ayodhya when the construction of Ram Mandir is in full swing, how much more ironic can it be? Can BJP lose the triad of Kashi, Mathura, and Ayodhya in the upcoming Assembly Elections? Or will the man from Gorakhpur be able to re-establish his base in his own city and then the ancient Hindu cities? Time’s our answerer.