New Delhi: The counting of votes for the 403 seats in Uttar Pradesh (UP) assembly elections 2017 started at 8am. Post noon trends show Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has crossed well past halfway mark and set to win a comfortable majority. The assembly polls are being seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity and his reforms, particularly demonetisation.
Exit poll results on Thursday were indecisive for Uttar Pradesh and predicted a triangular contest between Modi’s BJP, Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was forecast in Uttar Pradesh.
Four of the six polls predicted Modi’s will emerge the single largest party but may fall short of gaining the 202 seats need to govern in its own right in the 403-member assembly. Two other polls, including the one that forecast Modi winning a majority in the 2014 national elections, expect Modi’s party to sweep to power in a decisive victory.
The alliance between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party (SP) of the state’s current chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav, is forecast to be the second largest bloc in all polls.
The Election Commission (EC) has set up 78 counting centres in 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh. The EC has issued strict guidelines on security arrangements for counting of votes and has prohibited mobile phones inside the counting halls. A three-tier security perimeter has been created at the counting centres. The election results will be available on the Election Commission website www.eci.nic.in/.
Here are the latest updates on election results and trends from counting of votes in the UP assembly elections 2017:
■ 3.45pm: BJP president addresses a press conference at party headquarters in New Delhi. Highlights of his press briefing:
— The outcome of five assembly polls is very encouraging. Despite defeat in Punjab, our alliance has got over 30% votes.
— Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emerged as the tallest leader in the country and even BJP’s political rivals have to admit it.
— Demonetisation accepted by the people. People of UP have replied to Modi detractors.
— This is a historic mandate for BJP.
— Personal attacks against PM Modi have backfired.
— This is the start of politics based on performance.
■ 3.30pm: The EC website has declared 149 results. Here is the partwise position so far: BJP—114, SP—22, BSP—5, Congress—3, Apna Dal (Soneylal)—3, RLD—1, Independent—1.
■ 3pm: Hamirput seat won by BJP’s Ashok Kumar Singh Chandel. The BJP candidate secured over 110,000 votes against SP rival Dr Manoj Kumar Prajapati, who managed 62,233 votes. BSP’s Sanjeev Kumar gets 6,054.
■ 2.45pm: The Uttar Pradesh election results not only underline Rahul Gandhi’s failure, but also that of Priyanka Gandhi who was part of the poll strategy, Union minister Smriti Irani said.
Taking a dig at Rahul over Congress’ poor performance in the crucial state polls, Irani said only blaming the AICC vice president “will be an injustice to him”. “One has to do justice. This is not only Mr Rahul Gandhi’s failure. Ghulam Nabi Azad had very magnanimously claimed that Priyanka is very much part of the strategy. I think the sibling (Priyanka) waiting in the wings has equally failed. So to say only Rahul has failed will be injustice to him,” she told reporters.
The Union Textile Minister said that she would like to ask the Congress vice president in “Akhilesh style” that “khao ganga maa ki kasam aur batao UP ko kiska saath pasand hai” (Swear in the name of mother Ganga and say whom does Uttar Pradesh like).
“In our party merit wins over dynasty. This is one political organisation which has made a humble citizen as the prime minister of the country. This victory is the victory of the Modi government and its policies,” Irani added.
■ 2.30pm: Uttar Pradesh Party-wise Position
Total number of seats : 403 seats, Results declared: 73 , trends: 330
BJP— won 56 seats, leading in 248
SP— won 11, leading in 42
Congress— won 1, leading in 8 seats
BSP— won 2, leading in 17 seats
Apna Dal (Soneylal)— won 1, leading in 8 seats
Rashtriya Lok Dal— won 1, leading in 0 seats
Independent— won 1, leading in 2
Others— won 0, leading in 5 seats
■ 2pm: Uttar Pradesh Party Position at 2pm.
Total number of seats : 403 seats, Results declared: 22 , trends: 380
BJP— won 19 seats, leading in 281
SP— won 1, leading in 52
Congress— won 1, leading in 8 seats
BSP— won 0, leading in 19 seats
Apna Dal (Soneylal)— won 1, leading in 9 seats
Rashtriya Lok Dal— won 0, leading in 2 seats
Independent— won 0, leading in 3
Others— won 0, leading in 6 seats
■ 1.50pm: UP results surprising, seems EVMs did not accept any vote other than that of BJP’s, says BSP supremo Mayawati.
Press any button, vote goes to BJP, charges Mayawati after trends show her party finishing a poor third.
Mayawati dares PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah to ask EC to hold polls in UP using traditional ballot papers if they are “honest”.
■ 1.45pm: According to trends and results available after five hours of counting of votes in the Assembly polls in the five states, the BJP, which did not have a chief ministerial face in UP, was ahead in 296 out of 403 constituencies in a stunning showing which party leaders credited to a ‘Modi wave’. The BJP together with its allies Apna Dal (Soneylal Patel) and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) were leading in 305 seats.
The BJP, which had just 47 seats in the outgoing Assembly, garnered 40% vote share, in the most riveting contest seen as a gamechanger and a virtual referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity and demonetisation. The party also went to the elections without fielding any Muslim candidate.
The nascent SP-Congress coalition was ahead in 64 seats while Mayawati’s BSP was a distant third leading only in 20 places. The SP, whose campaign was spearheaded by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on development agenda, led in 55 seats.
The BJP has gained comfortable leads in eight seats of Allahabad district, which has the highest number of 12 assembly segments in Uttar Pradesh. Going by the counting of votes till noon, the party has established comfortable leads in eight of the nine seats contested by it and is locked in a neck-and-neck fight with the Samajwadi Party in another. Its ally, the Apna Dal (Soney Lal), has contested three seats and is leading in one while trailing in the rest. The BSP is leading in two seats. The SP-Congress alliance has a slender lead in just one seat.
■ 1.40pm: Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis says historic UP win is a crushing reply to those who opposed demonetisation.
■ 1.30pm: Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan showered praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his welfare schemes and “able leadership” as trends suggested a big win for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh.
“Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is God’s blessing for the country and people have tremendous faith in his welfare schemes,” Chouhan said in a series of tweets this morning after early trends suggested that BJP was on its way to form the government in UP after a hiatus of 15 years.
“The people of the country have again expressed confidence in BJP4India and its able leadership which ensured its huge victory,” he tweeted.
“The huge victory after demonetisation has proved that people are ready to face even problems for a corruption free country,” Chouhan added.
The BJP and its allies has marched ahead in 305 Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh as per latest trends from all the 403 seats.
■ 1.20pm: Trends show SP’s Azam Khan and his son Abdullah Azam leading in Rampur and Suar seats.
■ 1.15pm: With the Congress staring at a drubbing in Uttar Pradesh, the grand old party on Friday admitted that “the bad loss hurts” and said it needs to do “fundamental restructuring” in the state, calling for hard decisions.
While the Congress said the “loss” in the Hindi heartland it once ruled will be assessed, it defended party leadership saying it should not be judged over a short span.
The Congress also highlighted its performance in Punjab, where it is leading over SAD-BJP combine and AAP.
“Yes, UP is a bad loss, it hurts…I agree that, in UP, we need fundamental restructuring thinking for the Congress as a whole. These have to be hard, tough decisions about strategy,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.
Another Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad attributed the party’s poor show in the politically crucial state to “public mood” and said its performance will be “scrutinised”. He, however, stressed that Congress’ gains in Punjab and likeliness of the party forming government in Goa, ruled by the BJP until before the elections, should not be ignored.
“We are forming government in Punjab…In Goa, the BJP is not in position to form government. There is a possibility that we may form government there,” the former Union Minister said.
■ 1pm: The BJP and its allies appear poised to sweep all the five assembly segments which together form Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency as well as the three adjoining ones falling in the district.
As per trends available till noon, the BJP is leading by a comfortable margin in all the three urban seats it had won in 2012 —Varanasi Cantt, Varanasi South and Varanasi North. Modi had camped in his constituency for three days, held roadshows and addressed several rallies to reach out to voters in the district.
The party is also heading towards victory in the predominantly rural Rohaniya, a seat where the party had polled less than 10% votes five years ago. The party candidate here has established a comfortable lead of over 10,000 votes.
In Pindra, which falls under Machhlishahr Lok Sabha seat, the party has established a lead of more than 15,000 votes.
The BJP’s allies Apna Dal (Soney Lal) and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party too have respectively established handsome leads in Sevapuri, which falls under Varanasi, and Ajagara, which comes under Chandauli.
■ 12.50pm: “It is a victory of BJP’s ideology and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pro-poor and development policies,” BJP chief Amit Shah on assembly poll results.
■ 12.40pm: “This is a big victory. BJP has reached new heights in Uttarkhand and Uttar Pradesh and changed the political picture of the country,” Union home minister Rajnath Singh.
■ 12.30pm: BJP, allies ahead in 305 constituencies as per trends from 403 UP Assembly seats.
■ 12.10 pm: BJP surges ahead in 290 of the 403 seats in Uttar Pradesh, with its main rival the SP-Congress coalition too far behind with 69 leads. BSP trailed far behind with leads in only 19 places.
■ 11.45am: Minister Yasir Shah was leading in Matera (Bahraich), while minister Rahguraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya was ahead in Kunda.
Jitin Prasada (Congress) was leading in Tilhar (Shahjahanpur).
SP leader Shivpal Yadav was leading by over 11,000 votes in Jaswant Nagar (Etawah) over his nearest rival Manish Yadav Batre of BJP.
Minister Azam Khan was leading in Rampur. Trends show BJP’s Suresh Rana was trailing in Thana Bhawan seat in Shamli.
Sangeet Som (BJP) was leading in Sardhana in Meerut. Gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari (BSP) was leading by a narrow margin in Mau, while his son Abbas and brother Sigbatullah were trailing in Ghosi and Mohammadabad seats respectively.
BJP was leading in Ramnagar (Barabanki) and Ayodhya seats. Ministers Arvind Singh Gope and Tej Narain alias Pawan Pandey were trailing.
■ 11.30am: Voter in Uttar Pradesh has risen above caste for the first time: Jitendra Singh, MoS in PMO. (Doordarshan News)
The BJP and its allies consolidated their position in Uttar Pradesh by surging ahead in 290 of the 403 seats, going by trends available from 386 constituencies in the first three hours of counting. The saffron party and its allies Apna Dal (Soneylal Patel) and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) in the process pushed rivals SP-Congress combine and the BSP far behind.
The fledgling SP-Congress coalition was ahead in 69 seats (SP in 58 and Congress in 11), while BSP trailed far behind with leads in only 19 places. BJP on its own was leading in 276 seats, while Apna Dal (S) was ahead in nine and SBSP in five.
Gayatri Prajapati, who is absconding after the UP Police booked him in an alleged gangrape case and attempt to rape a minor, was trailing in Amethi, where Garima Singh (BJP), the first wife of Congress leader Sanjay Sinh, was leading. Ameeta Singh (Cong), the present wife of Sanjay Sinh was also trailing.
In Noida, Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh was leading.
■ 11.15am: BJP leaders on Friday credited ‘Modi wave’ for the party’s strong showing in the high stakes Uttar Pradesh elections. On the next chief minister in the state, they said the decision will be taken by the BJP parliamentary board and the legislature party in the state soon.
The results of the elections, which were fought under party chief Amit Shah, show that the BJP has been able to dispel the perception of being a party of upper castes only as now it commands the support of all sections of the society, including Dalits, they said.
“It is a Modi wave. The wave which started with 2014 Lok Sabha elections is continuing in 2017 and the momentum will go beyond the 2019 general elections,” BJP Uttar Pradesh chief Keshav Prasad Maurya said.
“The credit goes to Prime Minister Modi, his government’s pro-poor policies and party chief Amit Shah’s strategy. People have fought the elections on our behalf in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and results have vindicated their faith in us,” party general secretary Kailash Vijaywargia said.
Another BJP general secretary O P Mathur, who is in- charge of party affairs in Uttar Pradesh, said the state has become “Modi-fied” and so has the country.
■ 11.10am: UP election results show that Narendra Modi has done a good job of convincing the voters in India’s most populous state that demonetisation was a good move. Read more in: The BJP’s UP surge: Didn’t demonetisation matter?
■ 11am: Gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari (BSP), son Abbas and brother Sigbatullah trailing in Mau, Ghosi and Mohammadabad seats respectively.
Trends show BJP’s Suresh Rana trailing BSP’s Abdul Waris Khan in Thana Bhawan seat in Shamli by over 5000 votes.
Trends show BJP’s Sangeet Singh Som is ahead of his nearest SP rival Atul Pradhan by a margin of 8,359 votes in Sardhana seat.
■ 10.45am: BJP leading in 304 seats, SP-Congress in 69 seats, and BSP is leading in 20 seats. (CNN-News18)
Congress’ Jitin Prasada leads from Tilhar constituency. BJP’s Pranav Singh from Khanpur seat leading.
■ 10.30am: BJP, allies ahead in 230 constituencies as per trends from 313 of 403 Assembly seats.
UP Assembly: BJP leading in Ramnagar (Barabanki) and Ayodhya seats. Ministers Arvind Singh Gope and Tej Narain alias Pawan Pandey trailing.
■ 10.15am: Election trends on CNN-News18 for 403 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh shows BJP is leading in 294 seats, while SP-Congress alliance is leading in 79 seats, BSP is leading in 21 seats.
■ 10.05am: SP leader Shivpal Yadav leading by 5,742 votes in Jaswant Nagar (Etawah) over his nearest rival Manish Yadav Batre of BJP.
BJP’s Suresh Rana leading in Thana Bhawan seat in Shamli.
Uma Shankar Singh (BSP) leading from Rasra, Ballia.
BJP leading in all 9 seats in Gorakhpur district.
■ 9.50am: Election trends on CNN-News18 for 390 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh shows BJP is leading in 273 seats, while SP-Congress alliance is leading in 79 seats, BSP is leading in 26 seats.
■ 9.45am: Trends show SP leader Shivpal Yadav trailing behind Manish Yadav Batre of BJP in Jaswant Nagar (Etawah) by 65 votes.
Home minister Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh leading in Noida.
Trends show minister Azam Khan leading in Rampur, Aditi Singh of Congress leading in Raebareli.
UP Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey (SP) trailing in Itwa (Siddharth Nagar), BJP leading in the seat.
Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav trails Rita Joshi (BJP) in Lucknow Cant seat.
■ 9.35am: BJP ahead in 200 constituencies as per trends from 300 out of 403 UP Assembly seats. SP-Cong combine ahead in 50 seats and BSP in 30, trends from 300 out of 403 UP Assembly seats show.
Rape accused UP minister Gayatri Prajapati leading in Amethi. Rahguraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya ahead in Kunda.
SP’s Shivpal Singh Yadav trailing in Jaswant Nagar Seat.
■ 9.20am: Election trends on CNN-News18 for 300 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh shows BJP is leading in 204 seats, while SP-Congress alliance is leading in 53 seats, BSP is leading in 31 seats.
■ 9.00am: Election trends on CNN-News18 for 178 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh shows BJP is leading in 122 seats, while SP-Congress alliance is leading in 28 seats, BSP is leading in 21 seats.
A look at major contestants: SP’s Azam Khan leading in Rampur. SP’s Gayatri Prajapati leading in Amethi. Aparna Yadav, the wife of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s younger son Prateek is trailing in Lucknow Cantt.
■ 8.45am: Election trends posted by CNN-News18 for 88 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh suggests BJP is leading in 57 seats, while SP-Congress alliance is leading in 15 seats, BSP is leading in 12 seats.
■ 8.30am: Initial election trends posted by CNN-News18 for 43 assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh suggests BJP is leading in 24 seats, while SP-Congress alliance is leading in 11 seats, BSP is leading in 5 seats.
■ 8.00am: The counting of votes began at 8am for the 403 Assembly seats in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh that went to polls in seven phases. Postal ballots were being counted first and initial trends are expected to be in by 9am.
A total of 78 counting centres have been set up in the state. In three districts of Amethi, Azamgarh and Kushinagar two counting centres each have been set up and in the remaining 72 district, counting will be held at one place.