HomeUncategorizedModerate voting in first phase of UP polls, fight for BJP to...

Moderate voting in first phase of UP polls, fight for BJP to stay in power

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing a strong challenge from the Samajwadi Party (SP) in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, voting for the first phase of which began today. Elections will be held for a total of 403 seats in seven phases, involving 623 candidates, including 73 women.

The BJP, which swept the state elections five years ago, enabling hardline Hindutva leader Yogi Adityanath to become Chief Minister, won 53 of the 58 seats for which voting is being held today. According to the Election Commission of India, nearly 35 percent of voters turned out to vote in 11 districts as of 1.00 pm. Voting ends at 6.00 pm.

The SP, led by former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) have forged an alliance against the BJP fortress in western Uttar Pradesh, which will also be put to test in the first phase.

There is a face to face contest between BJP and SP-RLD alliance in about 35 seats, while there is a triangular fight for nearly two dozen seats where the BJP, SP and another former Chief Minister Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have all fielded strong candidates.

Election campaign trends and a few exit polls thus far have suggested that the challenge being posed by the SP-RLD alliance is a stiff one, and it is being speculated that repeating the results of the 2017 Assembly polls will not be an easy task for the BJP. To counter this challenge, the BJP has denied tickets to 19 sitting MLAs and have fielded fresh faces. Besides, the party has also given tickets to three leaders who quit former the BSP to join the saffron camp.

On the other hand, the SP-RLD alliance has carefully worked on seat sharing equations and selection of candidates. While the SP is contesting in 28 seats, 29 have gone to the RLD. The Anupshahr seat has been given to yet another alliance partner, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). The alliance has fielded new faces in 43 of the 58 seats for which voting is being held today.

In the morning, PM Modi urged all eligible voters to cast their votes. “Today is the first phase of voting in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. I request all voters to participate enthusiastically in this sacred festival of democracy keeping Covid protocol in mind. Remember – vote before you eat!”

While opinion polls conducted by various agencies have predicted that the will form the government once again, there will be a major decline in its tally of seats while the SP is unlikely to regain power, despite improving upon its earlier performance.

A total of five states – Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh – are going to the polls between February 10 and March 7, and Prime Minister Modi claimed in an interview on Wednesday that his party would come to power in all five states. “The BJP is always involved in serving people. When in power, we work with the mantra of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’. I can see a wave for BJP in all states. We’ll win with an overwhelming majority and people in five states will give us an opportunity to serve them,” Modi told ANI.

Meanwhile, in a tweet this morning, Akhilesh Yadav said, “New Slogan for New UP: Let development be an ideology!”

Results for the UP polls 2022 will be declared on March 10. The elections have become particularly significant in light of the year-long farmers’ protest against the Centre’s agricultural reforms, which were announced last year by the Modi government. Facing relentless protests from farmers in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh (particularly the western region of the state, which is voting today), the Prime Minister announced a roll-back of three contentious farm laws late last year.

Also Read

- Advertisment -spot_img