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BJP sweeps UP, Uttarakhand in historic mandate; Congress takes Punjab, hung house in Goa, Manipur

Lucknow/Chandigarh : The BJP on Saturday stormed back to power in Uttar Pradesh with an unprecedented two-thirds majority and bagged Uttarakhand too, while the Congress achieved a similar feat in Punjab and emerged as the single largest party in Goaand Manipur which threw up a hung Assembly.

A euphoric Bharatiya Janata Party called it a “historic” verdict that would make a major impact on Indian politics even as the Congress admitted it was stunned by the scale of the verdict in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Anchored by PM Modi and party president Amit Shah, the BJP juggernaut rolled on in UP and in the neighbouring state of Uttarakhand, bagging three-fourth majority. The popular Congress Chief Minister Harish Rawat lost both seats that he contested in the hill state.

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.

From being the third largest group in the 403-member Uttar Pradesh assembly, the BJP, powered by an aggressive campaign spearheaded by Modi, catapulted to winning a whopping 324 seats — a never-before showing by any party in the country’s most populous state.

The victory left the ruling Samajwadi Party and its ally Congress punctured with just 55 seats while the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was left a pathetic 19 seats. While Samajwadi Party leader and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav promptly resigned, BSP leader Mayawati attributed the rout to the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) which she said were manipulated.

“The historic mandate given to the BJP will give a new direction to Indian politics. It will end the politics of caste, dynasty (parivarvaad) and appeasement,” BJP President Amit Shah said. The BJP, he added, would form governments in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur.

The Congress suffered an equally humiliating defeat in neighbouring Uttarakhand too. The BJP ousted it from power, winning 57 of the 70 seats, some of the victors being disgruntled Congress veterans who had joined the saffron outfit.

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