The BJP achieved a stunning victory on Saturday March 11,2017 in Uttar Pradesh and returned to power in the state after a 14-year gap during which regional parties such as the SP and BSP had held sway.
Barely two hours after counting began, the writing was on the wall – a saffron tsunami was sweeping Uttar Pradesh. By noon, the BJP looked to cross 300 seats. With victory in UP now certain, the BJP will look to government formation. BJP continued its trend of going into an election without a Chief Ministerial face.
UP BJP president Keshav Prasad Maurya(47) has emerged as one of the tallest leaders in the UP BJP in a short amount of time. He contested the UP Assembly polls three times – 2002, 2007 and 2012 – before being elected to the Lok Sabha in 2014 from the Phulpur constituency, a seat once represented by Jawaharlal Nehru. In April last year, he was appointed as UP BJP president. Maurya’s OBC status works in his favour as the party could gain by elevating him to the CM’s post. He could also find favor with the Sangh Parivar owing to his background as a ground-level RSS worker. Much of the credit for BJP’s sweep in UP, less than a year after his elevation as UP BJP chief, goes to Maurya as well. What works against Maurya is his criminal record. In his 2014 election affidavit, Maurya had declared that he had 11 criminal cases against him. Since maintenance of law and order was the BJP’s main electoral promise, Maurya’s appointment as CM could raise questions.
The Congress-Samajwadi Party alliance did not seem to have resulted in any mutual benefit with the SP’s vote percentage dropping from 29.13 per cent and 224 seats in 2012 Assembly elections to 22 per cent and 53 seats and the Congress’s dropping from 11.65 per cent and 28 seats in 2012 to 6.3 per cent of the vote share and ten seats, respectively.
An overjoyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi today described as “very humbling and overwhelming” the poll victories that the BJP got in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and thanked people for “continued faith and support“.
He hailed BJP chief Amit Shah as also party office bearers and state units for their exemplary work in taking the party to new heights.
“Am overjoyed that BJP has received unprecedented support from all sections of society. Huge support from the youth is gladdening,” Modi said while commenting on the poll results in a series of tweets.
“Gratitude to the people of India for the continued faith, support and affection for the BJP. This is very humbling & overwhelming,” he said.
He said, “Every moment of our time, everything we do is for welfare & wellbeing of the people of India. We believe in the power of 125 crore Indians.”
He saluted the hard work of BJP workers, saying “They have tirelessly worked hard at the grassroots level & won the confidence of the people.”
In another tweet, Modi said, “Congratulations to @AmitShah, party office bearers & state units for their exemplary work in taking the party to new heights.”
Thanking people of UP, he said “This historic victory of BJP is for development and good governance.”