In UP, Mayawati-Akhilesh Yadav Alliance, Congress Fail To Hobble BJP
- BJP ahead in more than 50 of Uttar Pradesh's 80 Lok Sabha seats
- Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhikesh Yadav leading in respective constituencies
- The Mayawati-Akhilesh Yadav alliance hoped to win over 50 seats
The BJP march is continuing through Uttar Pradesh, though at a slower pace. The party, which won 73 of the state's 80 seats in 2014 along with ally Apna Dal, is now leading in more than 50 seats. The balance is shared between the Mayawati-Akhilesh Yadav alliance and the Congress, which is ahead in only two seats.
BJP stalwarts, including Union ministers Maneka Gandhi in Sultanpur and Santosh Gangwar in Bareilly, are ahead of their rivals after the first round of counting of ballots, reported news agency Press Trust of India, quoting the Election Commission.
The BJP's Varun Gandhi, who contested from his mother's constituency in Pilibhit and state minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi, contesting from Allahabad, are also ahead of their nearest rivals.
The state's first family in politics - the family of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav - is doing well. Mulayam Yadav has forged ahead in Mainpuri and Akhilesh Yadav is leading in Azamgarh.
Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav, who is seeking re-election from Kannauj, is also leading.
For the alliance, which hoped to win more than 50 seats, with the backing of the Yadavs and the Muslims, the outcome is humiliating. For the Congress, which contested most of the state's 80 seats and conducted a high-powered campaign after inducting Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, it is more so.
It was expected that Priyanka Gandhi, who was put in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, would rejuvenate the party in the area where Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency Varanasi and Gorakhpur, the stronghold of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is located.
But leads so far indicate that the Priyanka Gandhi factor has had no effect.
Analysts said the Congress's solo entry in the contest - a move after Mayawati kept it out of the alliance - would play into the BJP's hands by splitting the non-BJP votes.
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