New Delhi: In its mammoth Uttar Pradesh victory, the BJP is particularly savouring its success in Amethi and Rae Bareli, the parliamentary constituencies of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and his mother and boss, Sonia Gandhi. The BJP has won six of the 10 assembly seats in the two Gandhi constituencies today, four out of five in Amethi and two out of five in Rae Bareli.
- Congress won two seats in Rae Bareli, none in Rahul Gandhi's Amethi
- Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party won one seat in Amethi
- PM Modi was the face of BJP's poll campaign in Uttar Pradesh
"I don't want to go into all the numbers from UP, I am just very happy that the BJP has won six of 10 seats from Amethi and Rae Bareli," said BJP chief Amit Shah as he celebrated his party's big moment at its office in Delhi. The party has won 325 of UP's 403 seats along with its allies, leaving rival parties only 78 seats to share among them.
The Congress could win only two in seats Rae Bareli and none in Rahul Gandhi's Amethi. Its partner, Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party, which had won seven last time, has only won one seat in Amethi this year. So strong was the Modi wave that it even swept to a win Garima Sinh, the estranged first wife of prominent UP Congress leader Sanjay Sinh, locally known as the Raja of Amethi.
Garima Sinh, 61, is a political novice and was fighting what was possibly the toughest contest in the state. In the Amethi assembly seat, partners Congress and the Samajwadi Party both fielded candidates because Sanjay Sinh's second wife Ameeta Singh insisted on contesting despite the seat being apportioned to the Samajwadi Party in their seat-sharing deal. The SP's candidate was controversial minister Gayatari Prajapati, who went missing halfway through the UP elections after he was accused of gang rape and molesting a minor. The police are looking for him.
Amit Shah promised that Mr Prajapati would be caught soon with the BJP taking over the state. "We will not spare him. The police will do its job," Mr Shah said.
The battle royal between Garima Sinh and Ameeta Sinh was pitched as a "Rani vs Rani (Queen vs Queen)" contest, but on paper Mr Prajapati, the sitting legislator and a backward caste leader, was the strongest candidate. He came in third, with Ameeta Sinh in second place.
The BJP has also won all five assembly seats in Etawah the stronghold of the Yadav family of the Samajwadi Party. In 2014, when the BJP swept UP in the national election, the only seven parliamentary seats that it did not win were those where the Gandhis or members of the Mulayam Singh Yadav family contested.
The Amethi and Rae Bareli seats were at the core of a disagreement that almost caused the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance to unravel before it was officially announced. For the Congress contesting these seats was a matter of prestige even in its role of junior partner in the alliance. The Samajwadi Party argued that since it held seven of the seats it would be prudent for it to contest them.