up elections

UP elections: BJP wins 255 seats

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: The BJP has retained power in Uttar Pradesh by winning 255 out of 403 constituencies, securing a 41.29 per cent vote share.

This is the first time in 37 years that a party has been able to retain power in Uttar Pradesh after completing a full term. Narayan Dutt Tiwari in 1985 had secured two consecutive terms in the state. Former CM Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party came a distant second in the 2022 Uttar Pradesh election, securing 111 seats and getting 32.06 per cent votes.

The two other major parties – Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Indian National Congress (INC) – were reduced to a single digit. BSP won one seat and Congress two seats.

Moreover, the vote shares of BSP and the Congress party stood at 12.88 per cent and 2.33 per cent, respectively.

In the 2017 Assembly election, SP had got 47 seats and BJP had secured 312 seats. (ANI)

Akhilesh thanks people after massive increase in seats, vote share in UP

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India](ANI): After the declaration of Uttar Pradesh Assembly results, Samajwadi Party Akhilesh Yadav on Friday expressed gratitude to the people for building faith in the party which led to the increase in the number of their seats and vote share.

Former CM Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party came a distant second in the 2022 Uttar Pradesh election, securing 111 constituencies, seeing a massive increase from 47 in 2017, and getting 32.06 per cent votes.
Taking to Twitter, Akhilesh Yadav said, “Hearty thanks to the people of UP for increasing our seats by two and a half times and vote percentage by one and a half times!”

He further took a jibe at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led Uttar Pradesh government, signalling towards more fierce competition in future and said the results have proved that BJP seats can be reduced.

“We have shown that BJP seats can be reduced. This reduction of BJP will continue unabated. More than half the confusion and delusion have been cleared, the rest will happen in a few days. The struggle for public interest will win!” Yadav further tweeted.

The BJP has retained power in Uttar Pradesh by winning 255 out of 403 constituencies, securing a 41.29 per cent vote share. However, the party had secured a landslide victory with 312 seats in the 2017 Assembly elections. (ANI)

Counting of votes for Assembly elections in all 5 states

New Delhi [India](ANI): The counting of votes in all five poll-bound states including Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, and Goa began on Thursday morning at 8 am.

The elections occurred in 690 assembly constituencies in the above-mentioned five states. The counting of electronic voting machines (EVM) will commence at 8.30 am.
Assembly elections were held in Uttar Pradesh from February 10 to March 7 in seven phases. Goa and Uttarkhand went to the polls on February 14. Assembly polls in Punjab were held on February 20. Assembly polls in Manipur were conducted in two phases on February 28 and March 5.

The Bharatiya Janata Party which is the incumbent in four states has been predicted to win in Uttar Pradesh and Manipur and has been projected as leading in Uttarakhand. In Goa there is a close contest with the Congress.

In the 403-member Uttar Pradesh assembly, the majority mark is 202 and the exit polls predicted that the BJP is poised to comfortably return to power with its allies for an unprecedented second term with most of them stating that the party’s tally would be less than that in 2017 elections when it had scored a landslide victory. The Samajwadi Party (SP), which fought the polls with RLD and some other parties, would improve its performance, the exit polls predicted.

Exit polls predicted a clear victory for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the 117-member Punjab Assembly with the scale of the party’s victory varying across various surveys.

Several surveys predicted Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP, which is in power in Delhi, getting a landslide victory.

The surveys also predicted that the ruling Congress will finish a distant second in the state followed by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) which had allied with Bahujan Samaj Party. The BJP and its allies are not predicted to do well, according to the surveys. If the results come as per the prediction of exit polls, it will be the first time that AAP will come to power in Punjab.

The multi-cornered contest in Goa could lead to a hung assembly verdict, exit polls predicted with some of them putting the BJP ahead but some also stating that Congress would the single-largest party close to the halfway mark in the 40-member state assembly.

The exit polls predicted a close race in Uttarakhand, with many of them giving an edge to the BJP to form the government. Some exit polls also predicted that Congress would finish ahead and could cross the halfway mark in the 70-member Assembly.

The exit polls in Manipur gave a clear edge to the ruling BJP in forming the next government with many of them predicting that it may fall short of the halfway mark. The majority mark is 31 for the 60-member Manipur Assembly. (ANI)

UP Elections : Polling begins for fifth phase of UP Assembly elections in 61 constituencies, Tough Fight at many places


Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Polling for the fifth phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections began in 61 constituencies at 7 am on Sunday morning.

A total of 61 Assembly constituencies spread across 12 districts, including Ayodhya, Sultanpur, Chitrakoot, Pratapgarh, Kaushambi, Prayagraj, Barabaki, Bahraich, Shrawasti, Gonda, Amethi and Raebareli, are going to polls on Sunday.
Voters will decide the fate of Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya, Minister Sidharth Nath Singh, Congress Legislature Party leader Aradhana Mishra and others today.

As many as 692 candidates are in the fray in the fifth phase whose political fate will be decided by around 2.24 crore electorates. The polling will conclude at 6 pm today.

The state is witnessing a multi-cornered contest with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Samajwadi Party (SP), Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) as prime contenders.

In 2017, BJP had won 38 seats out of 55 seats in this region while the SP had retained 15 and the Congress had won two seats.

Polling for four phases of the seven-phased Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections has already concluded and the fifth phase is underway today.

The remaining two phases will take place on March 3 and March 6. The counting of votes will take place on March 10. (ANI)

Polling begins for fourth phase of UP Assembly elections in 59 constituencies


Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India](ANI): Polling for the fourth phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections began in 59 constituencies at 7 AM on Wednesday.

The state is witnessing a multi-cornered contest with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Samajwadi Party (SP)-Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) alliance, and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Congress as principal contenders.
The fate of 624 candidates will be sealed in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) today. 59 Assembly seats are spread across the districts of Pilibhit, Lakhimpur Kheri, Sitapur, Hardoi, Unnao, Lucknow, Rae Bareli, Banda, and Fatehpur.

Elections in Uttar Pradesh are being held in seven phases and will conclude on March 7. Voting for the remaining three phases will take place on February 27, March 3, and 7.

Besides UP, polling for assembly elections in Goa and Uttarakhand has recently concluded. Manipur will go to the polls in two phases- on February 28 and March 5.

The counting of votes in Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Manipur will take place on March 10. (ANI)

UP polls: Rahul Gandhi to make campaign debut on Feb 25 after four phases of polling


New Delhi [India](ANI): With the first three phases of seven-phased Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections over and campaigning having ended for the fourth phase also, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will finally hit the ground for electioneering in Amethi and Prayagraj during the fifth phase of elections in the electorally crucial state.

Party sources said the Wayanad MP will campaign in Amethi and Prayagraj on February 25. The two districts will go to the polls in the fifth phase on February 27.
The Wayanad MP, who has campaigned aggressively in Goa, Uttarakhand, Punjab and now Manipur for the ensuing assembly election, has not so far addressed a single rally or road-show in electorally crucial Uttar Pradesh since the polls were announced in early January.

Leaving aside Uttar Pradesh, Rahul Gandhi has held nearly 30 campaign programmes in the remaining four states.

As a lead campaigner of the Congress, Rahul Gandhi’s absence from the active campaign in Uttar Pradesh so far has come as a surprise to party workers. He had extensively campaigned in the state in the last three Assembly elections from 2007 to 2017.

Party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has been on a campaign trail in Uttar Pradesh along with other senior leaders including Chattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, former Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, party MP Deepender Singh Hooda, former union minister Salman Khurshid and party leader Imran Pratapgarhi.

Rae Bareli, considered Gandhi family bastion, will go to the polls in the fourth phase of the elections on February 23. In an effort to reach out to voters, Congress president Sonia Gandhi addressed a virtual rally on Monday.

Rahul Gandhi had won the Amethi Lok Sabha seat from 2004 to 2014. He lost the 2019 elections from the seat.

Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were last seen in Amethi and Rae Bareli on December 18 last year when they addressed corner meetings and held a roadshow in these districts. Rahul Gandhi had addressed a press conference with Priyanka Gandhi in Delhi to release the party’s youth manifesto for Uttar Pradesh.

With the fourth phase of polling on Wednesday, polling would be completed in nearly 58 per cent of the seats in the state.

Both BJP and Samajwadi Party are exuding confidence of forming the government in the state. Congress is betting on issue-based election campaigning which is led by Priyanka Gandhi.

The fourth phase of elections tomorrow will decide the fate of 624 candidates in 59 Assembly segments in Pilibhit, Lakhimpur Kheri, Sitapur, Hardoi, Unnao, Lucknow, Rae Bareli, Banda and Fatehpur districts.

The voting for the remaining phases will be held on February 27, March 3 and March 7. The counting of votes will be done on March 10. (ANI)

Elephant of Behenji (Mayawati) has such a large stomach that everything is less for it: Adityanath


Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], (ANI): Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday criticized the previous governments for using corrupt practices and emptying state government treasuries during their tenures and said that the ration being received by the poor today used to be consumed by the goons of Samajwadi Party earlier.

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Adityanath also targeted the Bahujan Samaj Party, stating the ‘elephant’ of Behenji (BSP chief Mayawati) has such a large stomach that everything is less for it.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, Adityanath said, “Behenji has pointed fingers at my (Gorakhpur) ‘math’. I say this again and again. The ration being received by the poor today used to be consumed by the goons of SP earlier.”

“The ‘elephant’ of Behenji (BSP chief Mayawati) has such a large stomach that everything is less for it,” the Chief Minister added.

The UP Chief Minister further said, “I can say that for the 15 crore people in UP the double engine government is giving double dose ration to the people.” Where was this money going before, asked Adityanath.

Questioning the utilization of the state funds during the tenure of the SP government in the state, Adityanath said that Akhilesh did not have time to think about these things since he was busy sleeping and dreaming.

“Akhilesh ji would not have these figures and he did not even want to keep them because he does not have the time. If he gets time from his friend circle, sleeping and dreaming, then only he will think about these things. Therefore, he must not have this data. To have this information, he would have to employ a person before whom he would place these numbers and make him mug up. He is the son of a big figure. He sleeps 12 hours, spends six hours with his friend circle, and for the rest of the time, he would be busy with other work. Thus, he wouldn’t know this information,” Adityanath said.

Citing cases of the disproportionate asset against Akhilesh, Chief Minister ruled out the involvement of the BJP when asked about allegations on the party of misusing investigating agencies against Opposition during elections.

“There is a case against Akhlesh ji of disproportionate assets. Did this happen during the BJP government? In 2013, the BJP was not in power at the Centre or state. There are more cases against him. Was this because of BJP?” he asked.

Adityanath also reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’, and said his government gives benefits with the vision, denying all allegations of the safety of minorities being compromised in the state.

“Where ever I go, I ask people, ‘did you take the vaccine?’ People raise their hands and say yes. They express gratitude to Prime Minister and say that lives have been saved because of him. Those who opposed and derided vaccines have been countered by the people who took vaccines and have expressed their support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” UP CM added. (ANI)

‘I can sacrifice my life for brother Rahul’, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra hits out at CM Yogi for alleging ‘rift’


Kotakpura (Punjab) [India] (ANI): Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday said that she can sacrifice her life for her brother, ruling out an alleged disagreement between them.

“I can sacrifice my life for my brother (Rahul Gandhi) and even he can do the same for me. There is conflict in BJP, not in Congress,” she said.
The Congress national secretary was responding to a question on Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath remarks that there might be a rift between Priyanka and Rahul.

“The dispute exists only in Yogi ji’s thoughts. It looks he is stating this in light of a rift between him, Modi ji, and Amit Shah ji,” she said.

Priyanka Gandhi added that there is a conflict in BJP, not in Congress and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi might have a conflict.

Earlier, Adityanath had during a public rally at Pauri Garhwal in Uttarakhand said: “The Congress is completely submerged, wherever there is little existence, both ‘brother and sister’ are enough to push it down. So it should be left to its fate.”

The Congress leader addressing a public meeting in Kotakpura, Punjab ahead of assembly polls in the state said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from Delhi was running the Punjab government headed by the former state Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. Priyanka Gandhi sought to explain the change of leadership in Punjab, which had led to Singh quitting the Congress.

“We have had the Congress government in Punjab for last five years. But this government had stopped operating from Punjab, and instead was being operated from Delhi, not by the Congress but by the BJP,” said Vadra.

She also said that Aam Aadmi Party has emerged from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as AAP leaders have been publicly saying that they owe allegiance to Bharatiya Janata Party.

“Aam Aadmi Party has emerged from RSS… AAP leaders themselves say that they are more ideologically more close to BJP than BJP leaders themselves,” said Priyanka Gandhi.

Further slamming AAP over its claims of development in Delhi, Congress leader said, “There’s nothing in the name of educational and healthcare institutions in Delhi. It’s important to know the truth about political parties and their leaders.”

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also emphasised that CM Channi of the Congress party is “a common man among you”

Punjab will go to the Assembly polls on February 20 and the counting of votes will take place on March 10. (ANI)

Rahul did not campaign in UP in first two phases of assembly polls, Priyanka Gandhi leads Congress charge


New Delhi [India](ANI): Even as the campaign for the second phase of assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh ended on Saturday, party leader Rahul Gandhi, who has campaigned in three other poll-bound states, has not held any rally or door-to-door campaign in the politically crucial state. The Congress campaign in the state has been led by party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

It is for the first time in nearly 30 years that Congress is fighting almost all seats in Uttar Pradesh. Priyanka Gandhi is the face of the party in the polls and has been campaigning extensively along with other Congress leaders including Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. Party leaders Sachin Pilot and Deepender Hooda have also campaigned in the first two phases of the Uttar Pradesh polls.
Rahul Gandhi has campaigned in Goa, Uttrakhand and Punjab. He was present in Delhi with Priyanka Gandhi to launch the party’s ‘youth manifesto” for the Uttar Pradesh elections. He had visited Amethi, the constituency he lost from in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, in December when the polls had not been announced the state.

Rahul Gandhi was in the star campaigners list for the first two phases of the Uttar Pradesh polls.

A Congress source said Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi will be campaigning together in the state in the coming days. A rally is being planned in Kanpur on February 16 and the two party leaders are expected to address it.

Priyanka Gandhi has held over 18 roadshows, door-to-door campaign and rallies in Uttar Pradesh besides campaigning in Goa, Uttrakhand and Punjab.

Rahul Gandhi has addressed over 12 campaign programmes in Goa, Punjab and Uttarakhand.

The party is fighting a tough battle in Uttar Pradesh and some party leaders are of view that his joining the campaign would have added momentum to the party’s effort. Congress had allied with Samajwadi Party in the 2017 assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh and Rahul Gandhi had extensively campaigned in the state. (ANI)

UP polls: Samajwadi Party fields Swami Prasad Maurya from Fazilnagar


Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], (ANI): Samajwadi Party has fielded Swami Prasad Maurya, who was a minister the Yogi Adityanath government and resigned from BJP weeks ahead of the BJP ahead of Assembly polls, from Fazilnagar of Kushinagar district.

Former minister Abhishek Mishra will contest from Sarojini Nagar seat in Lucknow on SP’s ticket.
From the Sirathu assembly seat of Kaushambi, the SP has pitted BJP ally Anupriya Patel’s sister Pallavi Patel against Uttar Pradesh’s Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya.

Elections for the 403 Assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases starting February 10. The polling in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3 and 7.

The counting of votes will take place on March 10. (image-instagram)

UP polls 2022: PM Modi to address first virtual rally ‘Jan Chaupal’


Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India](ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address his first virtual rally ‘Jan Chaupal’ in Uttar Pradesh on Monday ahead of Assembly elections in the state.

As per an official statement from BJP, the rally will be broadcast across 98 mandals in 21 assembly seats in five districts of western Uttar Pradesh going to the polls in the first phase. About 49,000 people are expected to participate.
State General Secretary Organization Sunil Bansal has inspected the virtual rally studio set up at the state headquarters in Lucknow on Sunday.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma will join the virtual rally from studios in Agra and Lucknow respectively.

The virtual rally will cover five districts of Uttar Pradesh namely Shamli, Muzzafarnagar, Baghpat, Saharanpur and Gautambuddh Nagar (Dadri/Jewar).

Sharing details about the ‘Jan Chaupal’ rally, State General Secretary and virtual rally in-charge Anoop Gupta said that big LED screens in all the divisions of Nakur, Behat, Saharanpur (city), Saharanpur (Dehat), Deoband, Gangoh and Rampur Maniharan.

Besides, arrangements have been made for the broadcast of the virtual rally in Shamli’s Kairana, Thana Bhawan and Shamli (city). Arrangements have been made to watch the broadcast of the virtual rally in Muzaffarnagar’s Budhana, Purkaji, Charthaval, Muzaffarnagar (city), Khatauli and Meerapur.

In Baghpat district, large LED screens have been installed in the divisions of Chhaprauli, Baraut and Baghpat (city) for viewing the broadcast. At the same time, arrangements have been made to broadcast the program in Dadri, Jewar in Gautam Budh Nagar.

BJP candidates in all the Assembly constituencies will also join the rally at any one place.

In view of COVID-19 guidelines and to appropriately follow social distancing, 500 people will attend the virtual rally from each mandal via LED screens that have been installed. There are 98 such mandals and thus about 49,000 people will listen to this virtual address.

Links to the virtual rally will be sent to smartphone holders of the assembly constituencies where the program is to be held.

In 7,878 booths, the heads and panna pramukhs (voters’ list in charges) would be connected via television, he said.

Apart from this, party workers and the common public from all over the state will also be able to listen to the Prime Minister through various mediums.

This will be the first address by the Prime Minister for the BJP after the dates were announced for the Assembly elections.

The state of Uttar Pradesh goes into elections in seven phases. The first phase of the election will take place on February 10 and the last phase on March 7. The counting will take place on March 10. (Image -kshvid)

‘BJP is only option for development in UP’, says Yogi Adityanath


Bulandshahr (Uttar Pradesh) [India](ANI): Ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections scheduled to be held next month, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday said that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the only option for the development in the state.

Addressing ‘Prabhavi Matdata Samvad’ in Shikarpur, the chief minister sought the support of the voters and said, “This is a double engine government, there is no place for criminals and mafias here. BJP works for the security of women, for youth employment, for the progress of farmers. That is the recognition of BJP.”
“Under the BJP government, as many as 33,000 poor people have been provided residences in Bulandshehr alone. If you want the development of the state, then BJP is the only option. Support us to win this election,” he added.

Taking a dig at Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP), the chief minister said that the SP did not carry out any development works during its regime while BJP works for the development of people.

“Our government fought against COVID-19. The cases in the state have now declined. We have provided jobs to the youth in the state. Samajwadi Party did not carry out any development works in the state,” he stated.

BJP candidate from Shikarpur assembly seat, Anil Sharma, was also present on the occasion.

Meanwhile, elections to the 403 assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases starting February 10. The polling in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27, and March 3 and 7 in seven phases. The counting of votes will take place on March 10. (image -instagram)

58 seats to go to polls in first phase of UP elections; fifth, sixth phase to cover 120 constituencies


New Delhi [India] (ANI): The seven-phase election in electorally crucial Uttar Pradesh will see the the fourth and fifth phases covering highest 60 seats each while the seventh and the last phase will see voting on the least number of seats at 54.

Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra on Saturday announced the poll dates for the 403-member state assembly with the first phase of polling beginning in over a month on February 10. The counting of votes in Uttar Pradesh will take place on March 10 along with four other states for which poll dates were announced.
The seven-phase election in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3 and 7.

The date of notification for the first phase election is January 14, the last date of filing nominations is January 21, the scrutiny of nominations will take place on January 24 and the last date of withdrawal of candidature is January 27.

A total of 58 assembly seats spread over 11 districts will go the polls in the first phase on February 10.

The notification for the second phase of Uttar Pradesh polls will be made on January 21 and the last date of filing nominations is January 28. The second phase election on January 14 will cover 55 seats across nine districts of the state.

The CEC said that notification for third phase poll for 59 seats in 16 districts will be made on January 25 and polling will be held on February 20.

The notification for the fourth phase will be issued on January 27. The sixty seats in this phase are spread over nine districts and the polling will be held on February 23.

Chandra said the notification for fifth phase of polls will be held on February 1 and polling on sixty seats in 11 districts will be held on February 27.

A total of 57 seats in 10 districts will go to the polls in the sixth phase and the date of issue of notification is February 4. Polling for this phase will be held on March 3.

The notification for seventh and last phase will be issued on February 10 and 54 seats across nine districts will go the polls on March 7.

The tenure of the state assembly is scheduled to end on May 14 this year.

The poll panel also announced dates of elections for Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur. BJP is in power in four of five poll-bound states including Uttar Pradesh.

In 2017 Assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had won 312 out of 403 seats in Uttar Pradesh. The Samajwadi Party and the Congress had formed an alliance with the former contesting on 298 seats and the latter on the remaining 105 seats. The SP could manage to win only 47 seats and Congress got seven seats. Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) had won 19 seats.

For the coming polls, BJP has formed alliance with smaller parties as has the Samajwadi Party. Leaders of various parties have held rallies and carried out yatras to woo voters. The BJP government led by Yogi Adiyanath has been highlighting its achievements over nearly five years of its rule. (ANI)

Voting in Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand on Feb 14, UP to go for seven-phase and Manipur for two-phase election


New Delhi [India](ANI): The Election Commission on Saturday announced poll dates for five states with Uttar Pradesh going for seven-phase assembly election from February 10, Manipur to go for two-phase election from February 27 and Punjab, Goa and Uttarakhand to face elections on Februrary 14.

The counting of votes in all states will take place on March 10.
The poll dates were announced by Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra at a press conference here. With the announcement of poll dates, the model code of conduct has come into force.

The seven-phase election in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3 and 7. “There is equitable distribution of seats for Uttar Pradesh in seven phases. Voting phases move West-to-East in terms of state’s geographic spread,” he said.

Punjab, Uttarakhand and Goa will go for polls on February 14 along with second phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh.

The polling in Manipur on February 27 and March 3 will coincide with the fifth and sixth phase of Uttar Pradesh election.

Sushil Chandra also announced the COVID-19 norms concerning the elections. (ANI)

Uttar Pradesh Elections 2022: Akhilesh Yadav emerges as CM Yogi’s strongest challenger


Around six months back, BJP seemed to be in a firm saddle, as far as Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections were concerned. There was confusion in the Muslim community about whether they should go with Samajwadi Party, BSP or the Congress, and this was seen as an advantage to the BJP. On the other hand, the ruling party was upbeat because it seemed no single opposition leader was a strong challenger to CM Yogi Adityanath.

However, the sudden U-turn by the Prime Minister on the farm laws changed the political atmosphere in the state. The decision sent out a signal that the BJP is not on a strong footing in Uttar Pradesh. Then issues like rising prices and lack of job opportunities also began haunting the ruling dispensation. The euphoria among the BJP’s supporters about the construction of Ram Mandir has also almost petered out. 

PM Narendra Modi in Varanasi. He is trying to support CM Yogi who is facing a tough challenges this time.

And now, Akhilesh Yadav has emerged as a potent challenger to CM Yogi. Not only has he put his own house in order by patching up with uncle Shivpal Yadav, he also has tied up with the Rashtriya Lok Dal that has a good following among the Jats of Western Uttar Pradesh. In Eastern UP too, the Samajwadi Party has taken on board several smaller caste-based parties like the Apna Dal (Krishna group), Mahan Dal and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party. By forging these alliances, Akhilesh Yadav is trying to dispel the notion that Samajwadi Party is a party only of Yadavs, an impression that cost the party dearly in the 2017 Assembly polls and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. 

CM Yogi is the Face of BJP in UP.

The Samajwadi Party is also aiming to woo the Brahmin community that forms over 10% of the population, as the community is somewhat disenchanted with the Yogi Adityanath govt. Akhilesh Yadav has inducted prominent Brahmin leaders like former BSP MP Rakesh Pandey, Hari Shankar Tewari and former MLA Brijesh Mishra. It has also toned down its pro-minority stand that could end up displeasing the Brahmin voters. 

What is also worrying the BJP is that Akhilesh Yadav’s Vijay Yatras have drawn huge crowds in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. With Akhilesh emerging as a frontline challenger to Yogi, the confusion among the minorities is over and now they are sure to vote for the Samajwadi Party. This too is a disadvantage for the BJP that had hoped for division of Muslim votes among Congress, SP and BSP. Even the Owaisi factor is now unlikely to divide the Muslim votes. Except in seats where Congress or BSP may put up strong Muslim candidates, the minority community is sure to vote for the Samajwadi Party.

Priyanka Gandhi is fighting well but weak organisation in the state is a concern.

For the Congress, Priyanka Gandhi seems to be fighting a lone battle, but in absence of strong party organisation, her campaign is unlikely to win votes for the party. On the other hand, Mayawati is yet to open her cards about how she plans to take on the BJP in the coming elections. 

For now, the BJP remains the frontrunner for winning the UP Assembly polls, but the gap between it and the Samajwadi Party is decreasing fast. 


About the Author

Writer is a reputed journalist based out of Delhi, India. She has been covering elections for more than 15 years in India. Opinion expressed here are her personal views/analysis.

UP Politics: Daughters of UP have decided that they will not let previous govts come back to power, says PM Modi

New Delhi [India]: Stating that the entire country is a witness to the development that has taken place in Uttar Pradesh under the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that daughters of Uttar Pradesh have decided that they will not let the previous governments come back to power.

Addressing the people at the launch of ‘Kanya Sumangala Yojana’ in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj, the Prime Minister said, “Right now I got the privilege of transferring crores of rupees to the accounts of more than 1 lakh beneficiary daughters of Mukhyamantri Kanya Sumangala Yojana. This scheme will benefit the daughters of the state. Most of the beneficiaries are those girls who did not even have accounts until some time ago. But today they have the power of digital banking. Now daughters of Uttar Pradesh have decided that they will not let the previous governments come back to power.”
Attacking the Opposition over the issue of woman empowerment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Union Cabinet has taken a decision to increase the marriageable age of women from 18 years to 21 years but some people are troubled with the decision.

“The double engine government is working relentlessly to empower the future of daughters without any discrimination and favouritism. The central government has taken a decision. Earlier the age of marriage for sons was 21 years, but for daughters, it was only 18 years.”

“Daughters wanted that they should get time for pursuing studies, to progress and get equal opportunities. Efforts are being made to raise the age of marriage to 21 years for daughters. The country is taking this decision for the daughters, but people can see some are troubled by this decision,” he stated.

Referring to the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign, Prime Minister said the Centre has tried to awaken the consciousness of the society through the campaign to prevent female foeticide.

“Over 30 lakh houses in Uttar Pradesh have been built under PM Awas Yojana and about 25 lakh houses are registered in women’s name. For generations, women did not have any property here but today they own the entire house. This is what true women empowerment is,” he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj on Tuesday. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath received the Prime Minister at the historical city.

Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh are slated for early next year. (ANI)

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