Three tier Panchayat elections in Uttar Pradesh were completed on 29th of April when Corona out break was at its peak but the enthusiasm was also at its top. These are the elections which in country side are fought more seriously, enthusiastically and aggressively than the assembly and parliamentary elections . Being the grassroot democracy elections which are not fought on party symbol but every party fields candidates that give its workers particularly of village level to go among people and spread the party base. After 72nd constitutional amendment by Rajiv Gandhi this system was implemented which was actually the implementation of father of nation Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of gram swarajya ( village democracy ) . It has given more powers to public representatives for developmental work without red tapism . From Zila panchayat to development block to gram sabha money is directly provided for developmental work and elected representative passes resolution to do developmental work in their respective wards and areas. It was the revolutionary step taken by Rajiv Gandhi that has changed the face of Indian villages. A major contribution of this act is that it has empowered not only weaker sections of our society but to women also as seats are reserved every time according to circles( Chakranukarmaank ) thus SC/ST, OBC, Women and general category candidates get opportunity to contest these elections when their terms comes .This may be said to be democracy at grassroot level.
This time the elections held when the pandemic Covid 19 is at its peak. Though certain guidelines were issued by the government and district administration to follow the covid protocol during electioneering but in most of the cases they were only on paper .It was also suggested that the elections may be postponed but since assembly elections are just fw months away the Yogi government did not accepted this suggestion because these elections have actually become a prelude to ad preparation for forthcoming assembly election .The elections were held at the cost of human lives and unfortunately we don’t have any data of corona infection and mortality in villages. But more than 800 election staff mainly primary school teachers have allegedly died due to infection . Not only during electioneering but even at counting centres too Covid guide lines were openly violated very few people were covering their faces with mask and there was no question of physical distance at counting centres.
Though the counting is still in progress and according to the spokesman of state election commission it is going on all 826 counting centres across the state. Though the counting is inconclusive parties have started claiming victory of their supported candidate. Since the elections are not fought on party symbol parties are free to claim any victorious candidate as their own as only local people knew which party their candidate belongs. According to the state election commission till Monday evening as many as 2,32,612 gram panchayat ward members ,about 40,000 Village Pradhans about 56,000 BDC members,and about 200 zila panchayat ward (DDC) members were declared victorious. Counting is expected to be completed by Tuesday evening or Wednesday noon.
Whatever the claims of political parties, the clear political trend has emerged that it is neck and neck between Bhartiya Janata Party and Samajwadi Party this shows the trend for forthcoming assembly elections. The defeat of BJP candidates in Prime Minster Modi’s constituency Varanasi and centre of BJP’s politics Ayodhya are clear indication that all is not good for BJP . Even in state capital Lucknow Samajwadi Party has got clear edge over BJP. The drubbing it is getting particulary in west UP is the impact of Kisan movement . Bahujan Samaj Party and Congress have performed very poorly . Aam Admi Party too have entered poll fray this time and has won two seats in Sultanpur.
Final result of these polls will only be known by Wednesday but the clear indication is that it will be a direct fight between Bhartiya Janata Party and Samajwadi party in forthcoming assembly elections . As was expected Bahujan Samaj Party is going in oblivion and Congress has failed to impress the voters despite of its struggle for public issues and social work during pandemic.