UP polls: Allies on both sides make an impression, improve tally of seats

Mar 12, 2022 11:33 PM IST

After victory in the UP polls, BJP’s allies are hopeful of more representation in the Yogi Adityanath 2.0 government

The pre-poll allies of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the main opposition Samajwadi Party (SP) did well for themselves and their bigger partners in the 2022 UP polls.

BJP ally Nishad Party chief Sanjay Nishad with newly elected MLAs in Lucknow on Saturday. (Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)
BJP ally Nishad Party chief Sanjay Nishad with newly elected MLAs in Lucknow on Saturday. (Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)

The BJP’s allies Apna Dal (Sonelal) and Nishad Party emerged as the third and joint fifth biggest parties in terms of the tally of seats won. The Apna Dal (Sonelal) won 12 of the 15 seats it contested. The Nishad party bagged six seats on its own symbol while five of its candidates won on the BJP symbol. In 2017, Apna Dal (Sonelal) had a tally of nine MLAs and the Nishad party had just one. Now, BJP’s pre-poll allies are hopeful of berths in the Yogi Adityanath 2.0 government. In 2017, Apna Dal (Sonelal) had representation in Jai Kumar Singh ‘Jacky’, the minister of state. This time, the Apna Dal is expecting more representation in Adityanath government, as is the Nishad party.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath held a meeting at his 5- Kalidas Marg residence on Saturday night to discuss various aspects of government formation ahead of his meeting with BJP top brass in Delhi.

“The allies would surely be better represented in the UP BJP government this time,” a senior BJP leader agreed in the context of the UP polls.

Candidates put up by the Nishad party emerged as the giant killers, defeating not just the leader of the opposition in the state assembly Ram Gobind Chaudhary, but also Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) chief Ajay Kumar ‘Lallu’.

In Ballia’s Bansdih, Nishad party candidate Ketaki Singh defeated Samajwadi Party veteran Ram Gobind Chaudhary, who was the leader of opposition in the 17th assembly. In Kushinagar’s Tamkuhiraj, Nishad party’s Asim Kumar defeated UPCC chief Ajay Kumar Lallu who had won in 2012 and 2017.

Similarly, Nishad party candidate also defeated eight-time SP lawmaker Rewti Raman Singh’s son Ujjawal Raman from Karchana in Prayagraj.

In Nautanwa, the party defeated local heavyweight Amanmani and narrowly won Shahganj, a seat that was associated with the SP for nearly two decades.

“We contested mostly on seats that the BJP had lost in 2017. Whenever I was asked on that, I would say that we like a challenge.The results have proved, along with the BJP, we did well, winning key seats,” said Sanjay Nishad, the Nishad party chief.

Apna Dal (Sonelal) leader and Union minister Anupriya Patel, who met chief minister Yogi Adityanath, said her party’s graph has been growing and more power meant more responsibility.

“I think people have reposed faith in us and we have to ensure that we live up to the expectations of the people,” Anupriya said in a meeting of her newly elected MLAs. Having won 12 seats, Apna Dal (Sonelal) could now be in line for being recognised as a regional party, a status that had eluded it so far.

Both Anupriya and Nishad party leaders also thanked the BJP for their support as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah and chief minister Yogi Adityanath had sought votes as much for the BJP as for its allies.

The Samajwadi Party and its allies, despite ending up in a losing cause, too, made an impression. The Rashtriya Lok Dal and the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), the SP’s pre-poll allies, won more seats than the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress.

The Rashtriya Lok Dal won eight seats and the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party six, both bettering their 2017 performance. Back then, despite being in alliance with the BJP, only four lawmakers had won on the SBSP symbol and the RLD had just one MLA.

The SP bettered its 47-seat tally of the 2017 polls to win 111 seats now, 74 of them for the first time, though it also lost 10 seats, including its citadel Bhatparrani that it had managed to hold on to even in the Modi wave five years ago.

Before the polls, the BJP made several attempts to win over the RLD and the SBSP.

Despite attempts to make a dent in Azamgarh, the Lok Sabha constituency of SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, the BJP failed to stop the main opposition party from controlling its bastion. The SP won all the 10 assembly seats in Azamgarh district, something which it had failed to do even in 2012 when it had formed a majority government. The SP had won 9 seats in 2017. In 2012, the SP won five seats, the BSP four seats and the BJP one in Azamgarh. In Mau, the SP-SBSP combine won three of the four seats in the district while in Ghazipur, the SP-SBSP won all seven seats.


    Manish Chandra Pandey is a Lucknow-based assistant editor with Hindustan Times’ political bureau in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Along with political reporting, he loves to write off beat/human interest stories that people connect with. Manish also covers departments. He feels he has a lot to learn not just from veterans but from the newcomers who make him realise that there is so much to unlearn

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