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Election results 2017: BJP sweeps UP, Uttarakhand; Parliamentary Board to discuss probable CMs today

The BJP today registered a stunning victory in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, trampling a fragmented opposition that had hoped the demonetisation exercise would have chipped away at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity.
BJP workers carry a cut-out of PM Narendra Modi... Source: PTI
India TV Politics Desk New Delhi 12 Mar 2017, 13:14:27 PM IST

A day after Assembly election results that showed BJP securing decisive victory in Uttar Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the focus has now shifted to next Chief Minister of these two states. 

BJP Parliamentary Board will meet here on Sunday evening to discuss the probable names for the post of Chief Minister in UP and Uttarakhand.

The board will also work on the strategy for Goa and Manipur, where the Bharatiya Janata Party has propelled itself in the game of government formation, though it has failed to get majority.

BJP President Amit shah on Saturday said the party's Parliamentary Board would meet on Sunday to discuss the future course of action.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to attend the meeting.

In addition, the board will also declare names of observers who will hold meetings with the elected members of assemblies in the respective states.

BJP President Amit Shah waves at party workers in DelhiBJP President Amit Shah waves at party workers in Delhi

Powered by an aggressive campaign spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP, from being the third largest party in the 403-member Uttar Pradesh assembly, catapulted to winning a whopping 312 seats in the country's most populous state.

Equally one-sided was mandate in neighbouring Uttarakhand where the BJP ousted the Congress from power, winning 57 of the 70 seats. 

The Congress was left with just 11 legislators, with outgoing Chief Minister Harish Rawat losing both the seats he contested, one narrowly, to his BJP opponents.

Parliamentary board will select the Chief Ministerial candidate for both the state with speculations that Modi and party chief Amit Shah will choose someone who can be controlled from Delhi. 

For UP, state party chief Keshav Maurya, hardliner Gorakpur MP Yogi Adityanath, Lucknow Mayor Dinesh Sharma, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and telecom minister Manoj Sinha are said to strong candidates for the coveted job. But considering that Modi-Shah duo do not want a parallel power centre in UP, Adityanath and Rajnath is unlikely to make the cute. 

Manoj Sinha, Dinesh Sharma are said to be favorites among the choices. 

In Uttarakhand, names of former state BJP chief Trivendra Singh Rawat and party National Executive member Satpal Maharaj have started doing the rounds as front runners for the Chief Minister's post. 

Satpal Maharaj has served as Union Minister in the past and is considered a good administrator while Rawat is close to the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS). 

In the election results declared yesterday, the Congress made a resounding comeback in Punjab after a gap of a decade, getting an absolute majority in the 117-member Assembly. Riding on anti-incumbency, the Congress under the leadership of Captain Amarinder Singh decimated the SAD-BJP alliance winning 59 seats and was leading in 18 other seats. 

With the ruling party facing a humiliating defeat, Chief Minister and Akali patriarch Parkash Singh Badal said that he will be submitting his resignation to the Governor tomorrow. 

In Goa and Manipur, the verdict was not clear with both the BJP and Congress engaged in a close contest. In both states, the national parties will need the support of regional players to for government. 

In the coastal state, the Congress won 17 seats in the 40-member house, while the BJP bagged 13. The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), the Goa Forward Party (GFP) and the independents won three seats each, while the NCP bagged one. 

Enthused by the results, the Congress held a series of meetings to fine-tune its post-poll strategy and stake claim to form the government, with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar too saying that the BJP remains in the race.

Manipur also threw up a hung assembly with the ruling Congress bagging 28 of the 60 seats and the BJP making giant strides to muster 21. The Naga Peoples Front (NPF) and the National People's Party (NPP) bagged four seats each. The Lok Janshakti Party and an Independent candidate won one seat each.

Highlights:

A euphoric BJP called it a ‘historic’ verdict that would make a major impact on Indian politics even as the Congress admitted it was stunned by the scale of the verdict in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

From being the third largest group in the 403-member Uttar Pradesh assembly, the BJP, powered by an aggressive campaign spearheaded by Modi, catapulted to winning a whopping 324 seats -- a never-before showing by any party in the country's most populous state.

"The historic mandate given to the BJP will give a new direction to Indian politics. It will end the politics of caste, dynasty (parivarvaad) and appeasement," BJP president Amit Shah said. 

UP BJP President Keshav Prasad Maurya with party workersUP BJP President Keshav Prasad Maurya with party workers

The BJP, Shah added, will form governments in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. 

The victory left the ruling Samajwadi Party and its ally Congress punctured with just 55 seats while the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was left a pathetic 19 seats. 

While Samajwadi Party leader and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav promptly resigned, BSP leader Mayawati attributed the rout to the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) which she said were manipulated.

In the most populous state, the BJP's success rate enveloped both urban and rural areas and appeared to demolish traditional caste equations. BJP candidates won in all major cities including Lucknow, Allahabad, Kanpur and Varanasi, Modi's Lok Sabha constituency. While the Congress fared not so badly in Rae Bareli, it took a drubbing in Amethi, Rahul Gandhi's Lok Sabha seat.

BJP workers celebrate victory in UPBJP workers celebrate victory in UP

In Uttarakhand, the Congress suffered an equally humiliating defeat. The BJP ousted it from power, winning 57 of the 70 seats, some of the victors being disgruntled Congress veterans who had joined the saffron outfit. 

The Congress was left with just 11 legislators, with outgoing Chief Minister Harish Rawat losing both the seats he contested, one narrowly, to his BJP opponents.

"It is a monumental setback. We are disappointed with Uttar Pradesh," Congress spokesman Sanjay Jha said. 

"Our party is looking confused," Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit added.

Congress defends Rahul Gandhi

But other party leaders rushed to defend Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, saying he alone must not be blamed for the rout in Uttar Pradesh, where the Congress, having become in recent decades an also-ran, aligned with the Samajwadi Party just before the staggered assembly election.

BJP-ruled Goa, however, appeared headed for a hung assembly, with both the Congress and the BJP claiming they will form the government in the coastal state.

The Congress inched towards becoming the single largest party in the 40-member house winning 18 seats while the BJP had netted 14. The balance of power now lay in the hands of smaller parties including Goa Forward and the MGP. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was routed. 

With 26 winners, the Congress also led the BJP (22 winners) in the troubled northeastern state of Manipur that it rules. But with both groups falling short of a majority in the 60-member house, smaller parties will play a key role in government formation.

The Congress had plenty to celebrate in Punjab where it returned to power comfortably after a decade in the opposition, crushing both the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP combine as well as the AAP that was confident of winning in the border state.

Navjot Singh Sidhu with his wife Navjot Kaur addressing media in AmritsarNavjot Singh Sidhu with his wife Navjot Kaur addressing media in Amritsar

Led by former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who turned 75 on Saturday, the Congress won as many as 77 of the 117 seats, leaving the AAP with just 22 seats but as the main opposition in the assembly. The SAD and BJP had just 18 seats, with as many as 10 ministers worsted in the battle.

Prime Minister Modi telephoned Amarinder Singh to congratulate him. The AAP, which had invested heavily in Punjab, licked its wounds, its leaders saying they would introspect to know what went wrong. 

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