Saffron sweep across UP, U’khand; Cong decimates SAD in Punjab

BJP workers offers sweets to BJP State president Shibun Lyngdoh on the road in Police Bazar following the victory of the party in UP and Uttarakhand on Saturday. (Photo by Sanjib Bhattacharjee).

Hung verdicts in Manipur, Goa; parties confabulate

Lucknow/ Chandigarh: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday stormed back to power in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand securing landslide wins while the Congress achieved a similar feat in Punjab and emerged as the single largest party in Goa and Manipur which threw up a hung Assembly.
The BJP is returning to power in the politically crucial state of UP after a gap of 15 years during which regional parties such as the SP and the BSP held sway.
As the Assembly elections in the five states turned into a virtual referendum on Modi’s popularity and demonetisation, the BJP decimated the ruling SP, its alliance partner Congress and Mayawati’s BSP in UP.
At the end of vote counting, the BJP bagged 312 seats on its own with a nearly 40 per cent vote share and with allies Apna Dal (Soneylal Patel) and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) their strength goes up to 324 in a House of 403. The BJP had just 47 seats in the outgoing House.
The ruling SP whose campaign was steered by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on development agenda received a severe drubbing getting only 47 seats as against its previous tally of 224 while alliance partner      (Contd on P-10)

Safron sweep across…
(Contd from P-1) Congress was reduced to single digits(7), down by 21 seats.
BSP could garner only 19 seats in a huge slump from the previous tally of 80.
Winning 77 of the 117 assembly seats, Congress stormed back to power in Punjab riding a strong anti-incumbency wave against the ruling SAD-BJP combine and warding off a spirited challenge by newcomer AAP which put up the second best performance in the state.
With 77 MLAs it just one seat short of a two-third majority. The Congress had 46 seats in the outgoing House.
The SAD-BJP alliance finished at number three spot in the state polls, behind AAP, which emerged as the largest opposition party with 20 seats. However, the number fell way short of Arvind Kejriwal’s claim that AAP will win 100 seats.
The Prakash Singh Badal-led SAD won 15 seats, down from its earlier tally of 56 seats while ally BJP bagged three seats against the 12 it had won in 2012.
In Uttarakhand, BJP bagged 56 out of 70 seats at stake in the state to storm to power reducing Congress to just 11 seats.
BJP suffered reverses in Goa where its tally was reduced to 13 from 21 in the 40-member house as the poll results threw up a hung assembly where opposition Congress emerged the single largest party with 17 seats. Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Goa Forward and Independents won three each and NCP bagged one seat. The majority mark is 21 seats. Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar bit the dust in Mandrem.
AAP, which hit the state with a big fanfare, drew a blank.
Like in Goa, it was a hung House in Manipur with ruling Congress bagging 28 out of the total 60 seats and BJP getting 21.
Congress, which had won 42 seats in the 2012 assembly poll, suffered a jolt as it managed to capture only 28 seats this time but is in the race for government formation as it emerged as a single largest party.
BJP, on the other hand, took a giant leap forward capturing 21 seats as the party had none in the outgoing House.
BJP’s vote share of 36 per cent is higher than 34.7 per cent secured by Congress. Three-time Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh romped home from Thoubal constituency defeating his nearest BJP rival L Basanta Singh by 10,400 votes.
Human rights activist Irom Sharmila who had contested against Ibobi Singh, secured only 90 votes and was relegated to the fourth position. (PTI)