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The ruling BJP captured 12 out of 14 mayoral seats as it swept the urban body polls on Friday but it is the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) which made stunning gains in the local elections in Uttar Pradesh.

The BJP's success came months after the party stormed to power in India's most populous state with a thumping victory in the assembly polls.

The Samajwadi Party and Congress - which fought the assembly polls in alliance - were trounced once again in the urban body elections with the BJP taking most of the seats in the nagar nigams, nagar palika parishads and nagar panchayats.

For the Congress especially, the poor show will hurt as it comes a few weeks before the crucial assembly polls in Gujarat where it is trying to regain power after 22 years.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who campaigned extensively ahead of the three-phase polls last month, attributed the "historic" victory to the people who reposed their faith in the party and the government.

"Now the BJP will look forward to achieving the goal of hundred per cent success in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls," he added. The civic polls were seen as his



first major test since he assumed office eight months ago.

The only blemish for the chief minister came in Gorakhpur's ward no. 68 -- called Purana Gorakhpur - where an independent Muslim candidate defeated the BJP nominee. The ward houses the Gorakhnath temple which is headed by Adityanath, who was a Lok Sabha member from Gorakhpur for five consecutive terms since 1998.


The BSP's successes came in Aligarh and Meerut, considered BJP strongholds, where the party won the mayoral posts. The party also won 19 nagar palika chairpersons posts besides 144 corporators' seats.

The BSP's penetration in the cities after its rout in the Lok Sabha and assembly polls showed signs of revival earlier than expected, political analysts said. The BSP, unlike the BJP, had had kept its campaign a low-key affair.

The Congress, on the other hand, was trounced in two nagar palika parishads at Jayas and Gauriganj in Amethi, the party's pocket borough.

The polls also made history with BJP's Sanyukta Bhatia set to be Lucknow's first woman mayor in 100 years since the Uttar Pradesh Municipalities Act was enacted in 1916.

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