File Photo: Yogi Adityanath. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
In what has been dubbed as Yogi Adityanath's first big electoral test after assuming office as Uttar Pradesh chief minister, ruling BJP swept the Uttar Pradesh civic polls bagging nine of the ten mayoral seats for which results were declared till evening while leading in six others where the counting was in progress.
The ruling BJP bagged several prestigious mayoral seats including Ayodhya, Varanasi, Lucknow, Gorakhpur and was leading in several others.
Opposition Congress again fared poorly, including in its bastion of Amethi, while the BSP had some reason to cheer as its candidate snatched the Aligarh mayoral seat, a traditional BJP stronghold, reports say.
In Ayodhya, BJP's Rishikesh Upadhyay secured 44,642 votes and defeated nearest rival SP's Gulshan Bindu, a transgender, by 3,601 votes.
In Prime Minister Narendra Modi Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi, BJP candidate Mridula Jaiswal defeating her nearest opponent, Shalini of the Congress, by a comfortable margin of 78,843 votes.
In Lucknow, BJP's Sanyukta Bhatia became the first woman mayor of the state capital defeating nearest rival, Samajwadi Party's Meera Vardhan, by a huge margin of 1,31,356 votes.
In Gorakhpur, the home turf of Chief Minister Adityanath, BJP candidate Sitaram Jaiswal defeated Rahul Gupta of SP by 75,823 votes.
In western UP's Moradabad, BJP candidate Vinod Agarwal edged past Congress's Rizvan Qureishi by a margin of 22,635 votes.
In Saharanpur too BJP candidate Madan Walia fended off the challenge from BSP rival Fazlurehman to win by 2,000 votes.
The saffron party's Mukesh won the Mathura-Vrindavan seat defeating nearest rival Mohan Singh of Congress by 22,108 votes.
In Aligarh, however, BSP's Mohammad Furqan wrested the saffron stronghold defeating BJP's Rajiv Agarwal by a margin of 11,990 votes in what was virtually a direct fight.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who went on a whirl wind tour of the state to ensure the victory of his party candidates, described it as a "historic win".
He attributed the victory to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision and BJP chief Amit Shah's guidance.
Now the BJP will now look forward to achieving the goal of hundred per cent success in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he added. Adityanath said that the Congress had been wiped out in its bastion Amethi.
Polling was held for 16 nagar nigams, 198 nagar palika parishads and 438 nagar panchayats with an average turnout of all the three phases estimated at 52.5 per cent of the 3.32 crore voters.