The election for the Zila Panchayat Presidents posts in 53 districts of Uttar Pradesh concluded at 3 pm Saturday (July 3) and the counting of votes began right after that. The elections were scheduled to be held in 75 districts but since chairpersons of 22 Zila panchayats of the state were declared elected unopposed on Tuesday, polls were conducted in the remaining districts on Saturday. According to reports, the Bhartiya Janta Party has swept the polls winning 65 out of the total 75 seats, while Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party bagged only 6 seats.
Of the 22 seats where there were no contests, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won in 21, while the Samajwadi Party grabbed one seat in Etawah. And now, in the remaining seats too, BJP grabbed 44 seats making it the clear winner of the Zila Panchayat Presidents poll.
Interestingly, the Muzaffarnagar seat, which is the hometown of Rakesh Tikait- the BKU leader who has masterminded the agitation against the BJP government’s three farm laws in order to kickstart his fancied political career, has also been bagged by BJP. The total members here are 43, out of which 22 were needed to win and according to reports, BJP’s Veerpal Nirwal, contesting against Samajwadi Party’s (SP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal’s (RLD) joint candidate Satyendra Balyan, got 30 votes in his favour while the latter managed to bag only 4. Moreover, districts like Hathras and Badaun have also been bagged by BJP.
Incidentally, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) joint candidate Satyendra Balyan belongs to the same Baliyan Khap (clan) headed by Rakesh Tikait’s elder brother Naresh Tikait.
Taking to Twitter, the party congratulated all the candidates for the historic win.
How is a panchayat chairman elected?
The panchayat polls for district panchayat chiefs are not held on a party basis but candidates enjoy the tacit support of various parties. Zila panchayat chairpersons are elected from among the elected members of Zila panchayats of various districts.
Prior to UP Zila Panchayat Presidents election, video of ex-SP MP touching feet of voters to seek votes for his nephew goes viral
Meanwhile, UP BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi shared a video today where former Samajwadi Party MP from Chandauli Ramkishun Yadav can be seen falling at the feet of voters (elected members of zila panchayat) to allegedly seek votes for his nephew.
पिछले चुनाव में “सर पर पैर” रख देने वाले इस चुनाव में “पैरों पर सर” रखकर गिड़गिड़ा रहे हैं।— Rakesh Tripathi (@rakeshbjpup) July 3, 2021
चन्दौली में जिला पंचायत अध्यक्ष के चुनाव के ठीक पहले शुक्रवार की रात चन्दौली के @samajwadiparty से पूर्व सांसद रामकिशुन यादव जिला पंचायत सदस्यों के आगे पैरों में गिरते दिख रहे हैं pic.twitter.com/GGyvwv772S
Taking a dig at the ex-SP MP, Tripathi Tweeted in Hindi: “पिछले चुनाव में “सर पर पैर” रख देने वाले इस चुनाव में “पैरों पर सर” रखकर गिड़गिड़ा रहे हैं। चन्दौली में जिला पंचायत अध्यक्ष के चुनाव के ठीक पहले शुक्रवार की रात चन्दौली के @samajwadiparty से पूर्व सांसद रामकिशुन यादव जिला पंचायत सदस्यों के आगे पैरों में गिरते दिख रहे हैं”, roughly translated as: “Those (SP) who fled in the last elections (2017 and 2019) were seen falling at the feet of voters and begging for votes. This took place on Friday night.”
After the video went viral, SP MLC Ashutosh Sinha said in Yadav’s defence that he only touched the feet of independent voters.
“Tej Narayan Yadav is the nephew of Ramkishun Yadav. Tej Narayan is supported by the SP for the post of zila panchayat chairperson,” he was quoted by PTI as saying.
The results of the UP Zila panchayat elections is especially significant since it is being considered to be a barometer to check public mood before the crucial upcoming Assembly polls, slated to be held in month of February to March 2022.