The BJP has clinched a massive win in the UP - their biggest ever, bigger than even the 1991 mandate won by a Kanshi Ram riding on the Ram Janmabhoomi wave. Amit Shah the party president has already congratulated all party men, Prime Minister Modi and state president Keshav Prasad Maurya, the possible next Chief Minister, for their unstinting efforts in securing a two-thirds majority in India's most populous state.
Modi's clean image, his demonetisation drive, his charisma as a vote puller, as we had mentioned earlier, have all played a huge role in getting the BJP here. Their return to power after 15 years is a massive endorsement for the Prime Minister.
The internal squabbles within the Samajawadi Party and their decision to align with a weakened Congress, who have won just 6% of the vote share and to whom the SP handed way too many seats, also helped the BJP.
The one big loser has been Mayawati, who has been inflicted a painful defeat. It does seem like she has lost her hold over her erstwhile loyal voter base, who kept returning to her despite her arrogance and her corruption. If she can't do better than pin the blame on the EVMs, she and her party might struggle to say relevant in UP in the years to come.
In the BJP's ranks, a quiet star has been born in Sunil Bansal, the near-invisible BJP organisation secretary in the state, whose micro-management of the campaign, has come in for a lot of praise from all around.
He was the man on the ground who helped Modi and Amit Shah fashion this epic win, one that puts them in the driving seat ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
LIVE: BJP scripts biggest-ever win by a single party in Uttar Pradesh in 40 years
Alka Pande, who covered the elections for Sify.com from Lucknow, interprets the results of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017 and what it meant for the various parties:
Demonetisation did not have any adverse impact. Rather, people believed that the move in the long-run, will help in improving the nation's economy.
People have showed faith in Modi's government, and want to give him time to work on improving the affairs of the country.
People want real leaders and not poll managers. The magic of Prashant Kishor has failed terribly.
People have rejected Rahul Gandhi completely
Corruption is an issue for people; they may be quiet, but they do not want to bring a corrupt government.
Family feud brought out the arrogant Akhilesh, whom the people of UP rejected. His earlier image of a polite man, though, was liked by all.
Family tussle will now aggravate when the dissection of defeat starts within the party and family.
Akhilesh Yadav will be out of job - out of both the Houses in the UP assembly, as he has not contested the election.
For BSP, the results indicate an unceremonial end to the party - biggest setback.
Survival for next 5 years will be an issue for Mayawati. Her party did not get even a single seat in Parliament. She has already been out of power since 2012. Maintaining herself in the political arena will be a challenge.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he is humbled as well as overwhelmed by the continued support of the people to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
"Gratitude to the people of India for their continued faith, support and affection for the BJP. It is very humbling and overwhelming. Every moment of our time, everything we do is for the welfare and well-being of the people of India. We believe in the power of 125 crore Indians," Modi said in a series of tweets.
"The huge support from the youth is gladdening."
Outgoing Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav says "we accept the people's mandate."
On being asked on his views of Mayawati slamming the EVMs, he said "If the BSP leader has raised the question of EVM rigging, then the government should look into the matter."
He also said that "I hope the future government will work better than us, will give more pension and make better roads."
And there was a parting shot too - "Wait for the decisions of the first cabinet, sometimes voting is not done on work but on misguidance."
BJP emulates a 37-year record!
BJP has surged past the 300-seat tally and now has 313 seats in its kitty. It is leading in a further nine seats.
The last time a single party clinched over 300 seats was in 1980, when the Congress won 309 seats.
Before that, 40 years ago, in 1977, the Janata Party, riding on the Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan wave, had won 352 seats.
Here's what Amar Singh had to say on Akhilesh Yadav and the Samajwadi Party's loss and the outgoing CM's tiff with his father and uncle:
"Akhilesh wanted party presidentship, right to select candidates, alliance of the hand (Congress); he wanted everything, and what did he got out of it?
"Now Akhilesh is no more the Chief Minister and his wife is no more the First lady; it is better that they now live like a son and a daughter-in-law (of Mulayam)."
"But I will never go back to SP ever again."
BJP set to sail past 300 seats
BJP has broken all records of victories in the assembly polls, even that of Akhilesh Yadav who had won 224 seats in the 2012 assembly election, highest at that point of time.
The BJP has secured 294 seats. The counting is still on and the party is leading in a further 27 seats.
With six more seats, the party will sail past the 300 seat tally in the 403-member UP assembly. That landslide will is set to give it a two-thirds majority!
|BJP has now won a bigger mandate than that won by Akhilesh in 2012 |
Alka Pande who is reporting for Sify.com from Lucknow says that BJP has now broken the record of Akhilesh Yadav who had won 224 seats in the 2012 assembly elections, by registering victory in 237 seats. The counting is still on and the party is leading in at least 80 more seats.
Shivpal Singh Yadav retains Jaswantnagar
Akhilesh Yadav's uncle and Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Singh Yadav has retained his stronghold of Jaswantnagar, where he trailed initially.
Celebrating victory he said, "Janata ne jo janadhar diya hai hume use manna chahiye (The mandate that the public has given, we should respect that)."
He has also said the reasons for the Samajwadi Party's defeat will be reviewed.
Mayawati claims UP election results are rigged
BSP president Mayawati was the first one to hold a press conference in Lucknow.
She said the results of UP and Uttarakhand are surprising and no one can digest them. She blamed of rigging and manipulation of EVMs.
"The fact that even in Muslim dominated constituencies, BJP has got majority, which confirms the manipulation," the former CM claimed.
The party that has not fielded even a single Muslim candidate, how can the party get a majority there, she argued.
Even in 2014 election, such a possibility was suggested, she said.
|HRD Minister Smriti Irani post her party's resounding win in UP, had this to say: "When Akhilesh used to say 'kaam bolta hai' (work speaks), at that time also I had said " 'Akhilesh ka kaam nahi karnama bolta hai' (It is not Akhilesh's work but exploitation that speaks)." |
Murder accused Amanmani Tripathi wins as an independent
Alka Pande reports that Amanmani Tripathi has won the Nautanwa seat as an independent.
Amanmani is the son of Amarmani Tripathi, who is in jail along with his wife. The couple was convicted of killing Amarmani's mistress and poetess Madhumita Shukla.
Incidentally, Amanmani is also in jail, on the charge of having murdered his wife Sara.
|Amit Shah has tweeted has tweeted his congratulations to all party workers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state BJP President Keshav Prasad Maurya, the possible next Chief Minister, for their efforts in securing the pary a 2/3rds majority in the state. His tweet: |
Our cartoonist Satish Acharya shares his take on the Modi-fuelled BJP surge to victory in UP:
|The latest vote share info from UP put out by the Election Commission highlights the extent of the BJP and Modi wave in the state. Their last CM, Rajnath Singh, had stepped down in a March in 2002. And now 15 years later in another March, thanks to PM Modi, they are celebrating their biggest win ever in India's most populous state. Here then is the vote share: |
BJP - 39.7%
BSP - 22.1%
SP - 22%
Congress - 6%
Rashtriya Lok Dal - 2%
Akali Dal - 1%
Fractures in the Samajwadi Party out in the open
Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Singh Yadav, who was trailing earlier has regained lead in his stronghold of Jaswantnagar, but only marginally.
Hitting out at nephew and current Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Shival said on Saturday that, "It is not the defeat of Samajwadis but it is the defeat of arrogance." He also said that Akhilesh, in his haughtiness, had removed Netaji (Mulayam) and insulted him.
During his campaign, Shivpal had said that after the election results he would work towards helping the party come back stronger.
|Ravi Shankar Prasad terms BJP clinching over 70% of the seats in UP a "tectonic shift". It underscores the fact that people from all sections of the society, including young Muslims, have voted for us, the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting says. |
Uttar Pradesh was the "laboratory of India" and the Bharatiya Janata Party's "super win" has proven (Prime Minister Narendra) Modiji's vision.
"We are very proud of Modi's leadership. Also, the demonetisation has worked in UP," he said.
|The first seven seats to go in the BJP's favour |
Alka Pande in Lucknow: Leads in seven seats have been converted into victories by BJP. The party candidates have now won Deoband, Maharajganj, Dhanaura, Rath, Hamirpur, Phulpur, and Koraun constituencies. No other party has opened their account when it comes to wins so far.
This is how badly the Congress has fared
This one statistic will possibly highlight the extent of the rout the Congress that has won just 6% of the votes in UP in votes counted till now has had to endure.
Out of 10 seats in Rae Bareli and Amethi, BJP is leading in six seats. There had been a tussle between the SP and the Congress on who contests these seats, at the time the alliance was sealed.
Aiming to strengthen the parliamentary constituencies of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, respectively, the Congress wanted to contest all the 10 seats here.
BJP clinches first seat in Deoband
BJP's first win comes from Deoband in Saharanpur district, a great beginning for the party as it is a seat with a dominant Muslim population, Alka Pande, our reporter on the ground, notes.
This despite the BJP not fielding even a single Muslim candidate - a fact its own leaders had underlined during campaigning!
Deoband, it must be remembered, is historically important for Muslims in India. Refer the Deobandi Islamic movement. The Deobandi school was founded in the town in 1866 by Muslim scholars Muhammad Qasim Nanotvi, Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi and Abid Husaiyn.
The win underlines the fact the BJP vote base is now more inclusive. A heartening nugget on a victory that is turning out to be more momentous than the hugely polarising 221-seat win in 1991, which was built on the Ram Janmabhoomi wave.
Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah was biting in his analysis of the results. He wondered "How the hell did almost all the experts/analysts miss this wave in UP? It's a tsunami not a ripple in a small pond".
He also tweeted that "At this rate we might as well forget 2019 and start planning/hoping for 2024. In a nutshell there is no leader today with a pan-India acceptability who can take on Modi and the BJP in 2019. Punjab, Goa and Manipur would certainly suggest that the BJP isn't unbeatable but strategy needs to shift from criticism to positive alternate. I've said this before and I'll say it again the voter needs to be given an alternative agenda that is based on what we will do better. Criticising the PM will only take us so far. The voter needs to know there is an option available to them that has a clear positiveve road map."
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi defended party Vice President Rahul Gandhi who he felt should not be singled out for the party's poor showing in Uttar Pradesh.
"If these (counting) trends persist, why single out Rahul Gandhi? He will of course take the bullet in his chest," Singhvi told NDTV.
But twitterati thought otherwise:
Who will be the BJP's new Chief Minister?
The BJP state president Keshav Prasad Maurya refuses to speculate on who the next CM will be now that the BJP is set for their biggest-ever win in the UP state elections.
"It is a decision that will be taken in the Central Parliamentary Board meeting; right now is the time to celebrate our victory," Maurya, himself among the frontrunners for the post, says.
BJP was the only party in UP that contested the election without a Chief Minister candidate.
A Lord Ram parallel was invoked by BJP workers, whom Alka Pande in Lucknow spoke to. "It was 14 years of vanvas for us, which is now coming to an end," they said while referring to their historic win, which is set to be their biggest ever, bigger than the 221-seat win clinched by Kanshi Ram in 1991.
The last time the party was in power in Uttar Pradesh, like we have mentioned earlier, was in 2002, when Rajnath Singh, the current Home Minister, was the Chief Minister.
The BJP office in Lucknow already wears a festive looks. Workers have gathered with Lotuses in their hands. All leaders have gathered to celebrate their historic win - their first in 15 years. It should end up being their biggest till date, bigger than even the 1991 mandate for Kanshi Ram.
The party state president Keshav Prasad Maurya has thanked the people of the state for showing their faith in the BJP, and acknowledged that it is the victory of the party workers who worked hard.
The vote share of the various parties as put out by the Election Commission. BJP has won over 40% of the votes based on votes counted. BSP sneaks in ahead of SP. Congress' 6% voteshare underscores the scale of the crisis facing India's oldest party:
BJP - 40.6%
BSP - 22.3%
SP - 21.7%
INC - 6%
Independents - 2.3%
Rashtriya Lok Dal - 2.1%
Akali Dal - 0.9%
Food and Civil Supplies Minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias 'Raja Bhaiya', who has been contesting on the SP ticket and winning from Kunda, and the Congress' Aradhana Mishra, who has been repeating her term from Rampur Khas, are both ahead. Mishra's father Pramod Tiwari had been nine-time MLA from this seat.
Alka Pande from UP shares updates on two important Congress candidates: Congress leader Jitin Prasada is trailing in Tilhar constituency. As a Petroleum Minister in the UPA government, Prasada had been involved in several controversies and had been shifted out from the ministry.
However, Aditi Singh, who is contesting on Congress ticket from Rae Bareli Sadar constituency, is ahead. Aditi is the daughter of influential leader Akhilesh Singh, who had been winning this seat unopposed as an independent candidate, in the past.
|The indications strongly suggest BJP steaming to a massive win in the UP. They are already leading in 70% of the seats where leads are available. Modi's clean image, his demonetisation drive, his charisma as a vote puller as we had mentioned earlier have all played a huge role in getting the BJP here. Their possible return to power after 15 years is a massive endorsement for the Prime Minister. The internal squabbles within the Samajawadi Party and their decision to align with a weakened Congress, to whom they handed way too many seats, also helped the BJP. |
The sweeping win could also help Sunil Bansal (seen below), the near-invisible BJP organisation secretary in the state, whose micro-management of the campaign, has come in for a lot of praise from all around.
You can get to know him better here:
Alka Pande from ground zero: A shocker for Samajwadi Party from Jaswantnagar constituency where Mulayalam Singh's younger brother Shivpal Yadav is trailing. Yadav had been winning from the constituency with practically no opposition in the past. This election, he was the centre of a major tussle within the party with Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
|These might be early leads. But the massive advantage established by the BJP has already triggered celebrations in the BJP's Lucknow office. |
Alka Pande from UP shares these updates on important seats: It is confirmed that Rita Bahuguna Joshi, a former Congress leader, who defected to BJP this time, is running ahead from Cantonment constituency in Lucknow. This seat is important because, like we said before, Mulayam Singh Yadav's daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav is contesting her maiden election from here.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh's son, Pankaj Singh is running ahead in the race from NOIDA constituency. On the other hand, tainted minister of SP government, Gayatri Prajapati, is ahead from Amethi constituency.
Trouble is looming on Mukhtar Ansari's son from Ghosi constituency from where BJP candidate is trending ahead.
|Demonetisation and Modi's image as a clean politician has helped him in Uttar Pradesh according to many observers. Everyone vouched for the admiration on the ground. But a possible sweep back to power for the BJP that the current trends indicate is beyond every expert's expectation. Big question - Will this hold? |
|Prominent early leads: UP ministers Azam Khan (from Rampur) and Gayatri Prajapati(from Amethi) are both leading. |
|Prominent politicians who are trailing:Mulayam Singh Yadav's daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav is trailing from Lucknow cantonment. Samajwadi Party bigwig , Minister Azam Khan's son Abdullah is trailing from Swar, Rampur. |
In the midst of all the news about early leads, Sify.com's Alka Pande reports that there was one district in the Bundelkhand area, namely Banda, where counting has not even begin at 09:00 IST.
UP politicians began their day by worshipping their favourite deities.
This was true in the case of candidates of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), who have defected from other parties, such as Rita Bahuguna Joshi, from the Congress, and Brijesh Pathak, from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
Even the first-timer Swati Singh, the wife of the expelled BJP leader Daya Shankar Singh, visited a temple early morning.
All three are contesting from the assembly constituencies located in Lucknow.
|Did the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) bungle its calculations by giving a weak Congress as many as 100 seats? Ruhi Tewari who works with the Print believes they did indeed mess up their chances to hold power with the move: |
|So what are the ground level expectations? Here's veteran journalist Shekhar Gupta on the sad plight of eastern Uttar Pradesh's six crore voters. |
|One man whose star could be in the ascendancy in the BJP if they win Uttar Pradesh on Saturday will be Sunil Bansal (seen below), the near-invisible organisation secretary, whose micro-management of the campaign, has come in for a lot of praise from all around. |
You can get to know him better here:
The Poll of Exit Polls in Uttar Pradesh put out by NDTV predicted that BJP will win 211 seats with the ruling SP in alliance with the Congress claiming 122 seats and Mayawati's BSP winning 69 seats. The others were predicted to end with a tally of nine seats.
If it comes to pass, the BJP will have secured a slender majority in the 404-seat house and be able to form the government for the first time since Rajnath Singh, the current home minister, quit as Chief Minister on March 8, 2002 . But then again exit polls are exit polls...