- BJP ahead in 62 of Uttar Pradesh's 80 Lok Sabha seats
- Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhikesh Yadav leading in respective constituencies
- The Mayawati-Akhilesh Yadav alliance hoped to win over 50 seats
The alliance of Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav has spectacularly failed to stop the march of the BJP through Uttar Pradesh, the state that sends the highest number of lawmakers to parliament. The BJP is leading in 62 of the state's 80 seats - 11 short of the 73 seats it won along with ally Apna Dal in 2014. The alliance is ahead in 17 seats and the Congress in one - Sonia Gandhi's Raebareli. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is trailing the BJP's Smriti Irani in Amethi, the Gandhi family bastion from where no Gandhi has ever lost.
The trend is expected to be a shocker for the opposition, which was expecting the alliance to be as effective against the BJP this time as it was during last year's by-elections in Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana. The alliance had won all three elections -- the first two the bastions of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Maurya.
The victories had spurred both Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav to think long term and encouraged the opposition to form a coalition against the BJP on a national level.
This time, Akhilesh Yadav had gone on record saying he was expecting more than 50 seats from the state. Mayawati had been open about her Prime Ministerial ambition, telling a leader from South that her party would support anyone who gave her the top job.
The outcome has been humiliating also for the Congress, which contested most of the state's 80 seats and conducted a high-powered campaign, inducting Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and putting her in charge of the crucial eastern Uttar Pradesh, where Varanasi of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gorakhpur are located. The party now needs to decide if her entry made a difference.
Currently, PM Modi is leading in Varanasi by a huge margin of more than 2.19 lakh votes against Samajwadi Party's Shalini Yadav -- his nearest rival. The BJP's Ravindra Shyamnarayan Shukla Alias Ravi Kishan is leading in Gorakhpur.
Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Santosh Gangwar are leading in Lucknow and Bareilly. Union minister Maneka Gandhi is engaged in a see-saw battle in the Sultanpur seat. But Union Minister Manoj Sinha is trailing the Bahujan Samaj Party's don-turned-politician Afzal Ansari in Ghazipur.
The BJP's Varun Gandhi, who contested from his mother's constituency in Pilibhit and state minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi, contesting from Allahabad, are also ahead of their nearest rivals.
The state's first family in politics - the family of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav - is doing well. Mulayam Yadav has forged ahead in Mainpuri and Akhilesh Yadav is leading in Azamgarh. Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav, who is seeking re-election from Kannauj, is also leading.
Senior Samajwadi leader Azam Khan is leading in Rampur over the BJP's Jaya Prada, who left the SP just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Analysts had said the Congress's solo entry in the contest -- a move after Mayawati kept it out of the alliance -- would play into the BJP's hands by splitting the non-BJP votes.
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