Lucknow: The ruling BJP has won six of the 11 Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council seats up for grabs in the teachers’ and graduates’ quota elections held on 1 December.
The BJP won three seats in each quota, but in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi, it lost two key seats to the Samajwadi Party for the first time in a decade. SP’s Ashutosh Sinha won from the Varanasi division graduates’ seat, while Lal Bihari Yadav won the Varanasi teachers’ seat.
Overall, the SP won three seats and Independents won two, while the Congress drew a blank and the Bahujan Samaj Party didn’t even field candidates. A total of 199 candidates were in the fray on the 11 seats, and the campaigning was hectic.
The results will not have a big effect on the SP’s dominance in the UP Legislative Council. It has gained one seat and now has 53, while the BJP has gained four and stands at 23. Earlier, the BJP and SP held two seats each out of these 11, while Independents held seven.
This is the first time that the BJP has contested the polls to the Legislative Council teachers’ constituencies. Its candidate Umesh Dwivedi won from the Lucknow division, Shrichand Sharma from Meerut and Hari Singh Dhillon from Bareilly-Moradabad.
Both BJP, SP pleased with results
The BJP and SP both expressed satisfaction with their performances.
“It’s a good result overall for us. This is the first time we have fielded our candidates in teachers’ constituencies and ended the era of Independent MLC Om Prakash Sharma, whose supporters were winning most of the seats in the last 40 years. He himself has lost his seat from Meerut after 48 years,” Naveen Srivastava, UP BJP spokesperson, told ThePrint.
On the results in PM Modi’s constituency Varanasi, Srivastava added: “If we had put in more effort, the results might have been different. We have to review that.”
SP MLC Sunil Singh Sajan, meanwhile, said his party had won three seats despite the BJP wanting to grab them “by hook or by crook”.
“We have won a seat in Jhansi constituency, which is famous as ‘kranti ki bhoomi’ (land of revolution) and in the PM’s constituency Varanasi, which is known as ‘adhyatm ki bhoomi’ (land of spirituality). This shows how the public is irritated in his constituency with the BJP. The youth have voted for us on the issue of unemployment,” Sajan said.
UP will next hold panchayat elections in 2021, and legislative assembly polls in 2022.