BJP wins big in Ayodhya, Mathura, Varanasi municipal polls
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has not only managed to retain its strongholds in the religious cities of Ayodhya and Mathura-Vrindavan but also improved its victory margin on the mayoral seats.
The makeover of religious cities, including Ayodhya and Mathura, and the push to religious tourism have already reaped rich dividends for the ruling BJP in Uttar Pradesh.
In Ayodhya, the BJP’s mayoral candidate Mahant Girishpati Tripathi polled 77,494 votes, defeating his nearest rival Ashish Pandey of the Samajwadi Party (SP) by 35,638 votes. Pandey secured 41,856 votes.
Despite traders’ opposition to the road widening project in Ayodhya, for which a large number of shops had to be demolished, the BJP candidate considerably improved the party’s victory margin of 3,601 votes that the party secured in the 2017 civic polls.
During this year’s campaign, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath went twice to Ayodhya.
Adityanath had told voters at an election rally in Ayodhya, that, “Any devotee of Shri Ram emerging victorious in Ayodhya in this festival of democracy will create a good impression. But if the person who fired at the devotees of Shri Ram gets votes, it will send the wrong message.”
The obvious reference was to the Samajwadi Party government that had ordered firing at ‘kar sevaks’ in 1991 during the Ayodhya movement.
Similarly in Mathura-Vrindavan, the BJP candidate Vinod Kumar Agarwal secured 1,45,720 votes while his nearest rival Raja Mohatshim Ahmed of the Bahujan Samaj Party got 35,191 votes. Agarwal won by a margin of 1,10,529 votes.
In the 2017 civic polls, BJP’s victory margin for the mayoral seat in Mathura-Vrindavan was just 22,108 votes.
The Bharatiya Janata Party also won a majority in the Varanasi Municipal Corporation (VMC) house.
It not only won the mayoral election with an impressive margin but also secured 62 out of the 100 seats of corporators in the house. As per the ward-wise list of victorious corporator candidates, the BJP candidates won in 62 wards while 16 Independents also secured berths
[With Inputs from IANS]
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