India: Vote counts show BJP all set to keep control of Uttar Pradesh state

India: Vote counts show BJP all set to keep control of Uttar Pradesh state

Mar 10, 2022: According to a report by Reuters, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP party is set to keep control of India’s most populous state with a big majority, according to the count on Thursday of a state assembly vote.

The BJP alliance was leading in Uttar Pradesh with about 250 seats out of 403, according to poll counts, while the Election Commission said the party is likely to retain power. 

Uttar Pradesh BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said, “Everyone will be surprised by the mandate as we are going to win by a landslide.”

Uttar Pradesh is about one-fifth of India’s 1.35 billion population and sends the most legislators to any state’s parliament. The victory in the northern state comes despite anger over the state and federal governments’ COVID-19 handling, high unemployment, and farm reforms that were canceled by Modi after protests last year.

Meanwhile, the BJP has long predicted success in the most populous state because of policies such as free staples for the poor during the pandemic, a crackdown on crime, and its popularity among the Hindu majority reinforced by the construction of a temple on the site of a razed mosque.

Elections for four smaller states over the previous month show, the Aam Aadmi Party that governs the national capital territory of Delhi is headed for a landslide victory in Punjab, while the races are tight but in favour of the BJP in Manipur, Goa and Uttarakhand.

Aam Aadmi Party leaders said they were ready to take on Modi nationally.

It is pertinent to note that in Indian politics no party or coalition has much hope of gaining a majority in parliament without success in Uttar Pradesh and the neighboring state of Bihar. In both cases, the BJP has been in power.

For decades, Uttar Pradesh has been the stronghold of the main opposition Congress party, but in recent years it has failed to stem its decline.

The victory in Uttar Pradesh will be a seal of approval for Hindu monk Yogi Adityanath, who was surprisingly elected as the Chief Minister of the state five years ago and is the future Prime Ministerial candidate for the BJP.

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