The much-anticipated climax of the high decibel assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh is just a few hours away. The seven-phased polls spread over a month of voting had its share of firsts, avoidable gaffes and embarrassing statements.
- Exit polls predict clear victory for BJP, getting 211 of 403 seats
- Not ruling out post poll alliance with BSP, says Akhilesh Yadav
- Elections in the state were held in seven phases
It was for the first time since 1999 that Congress President Sonia Gandhi didn't campaign in Uttar Pradesh, from where she and son Rahul Gandhi are members of the Lok Sabha. She is currently undergoing medical treatment abroad.
It was also unusual that BJP veterans LK Advani and Kanpur MP Murli Manohar Joshi didn't hit the campaign trail. Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and the presumptive Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, before the Congress struck an alliance with the SP, also remained absent.
Another bigwig Samajwadi Party patriarch and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav was also missing in action, well mostly, and campaigned only for daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav, who contested from Lucknow Cantt and brother Shivpal Singh Yadav in Jaswantnagar. In contrast, he had addressed at least 300 rallies during the 2012 elections.
After a poll of exit polls last evening showed the BJP getting 211 of the state's 403 assembly seats, Mr Akhilesh, who had earlier ruled out a post-poll alliance with the BSP, said that if there is a hung assembly, he will prefer a partnership with Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party over President's Rule in the state. Who would have imagined that?
Mulayam Singh's second wife Sadhna Gupta, just hours before the last round of polling in Poorvanchal, alleged in an hour-long interview that "no matter what, nobody should have disrespected Netaji, it is he who founded and nurtured the party". After staying quiet for the past two decades, this was Ms Sadhna's first public outing.
The UP elections were held in seven phases. Counting of votes will begin at 8am on March 11.
(With inputs from IANS)