Civic polls: BJP defeat in Ayodhya’s Lakshman Ghat ward still talk of the town

By, Lucknow
May 22, 2023 04:28 AM IST

Here, the BJP government has been organising Deepotsav celebrations since it came to power in U.P. in 2017.

The civic poll defeat of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate in Lakshman Ghat ward in Ayodhya, where the Yogi Adityanath government has been organising Deepotsav celebrations since it came to power in the state in 2017, is the topic of discussion not only in the temple town but also in the state capital.

BJP flags at party head quarter in New Delhi. (HT Representative Photo)
BJP flags at party head quarter in New Delhi. (HT Representative Photo)

The Deepotsav celebrations have been organised at the majestic Ram Ki Paidi ghat in Ayodhya which comes under the Lakshman Ghat ward. Here, Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Priya Shukla defeated BJP candidate Bindu Pandey by a margin of 1,199 votes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was chief guest at Deepotsav celebrations held on the eve of Diwali festival in Ayodhya last year. “BJP’s defeat in Lakshman Ghat ward has been humiliating. Even the state leadership of the party has taken note of this defeat. Till date party leaders are talking about this defeat,” said a senior BJP leader of Ayodhya.

The most surprising victory in this civic poll in Ayodhya was that of independent candidate Sultan Ansari from Abhiram Das ward which houses Ram Janmabhoomi. Ansari was in thick of controversy in the land purchase deal carried out by the Ram Janmabhoomi Tirath Kshetra Trust in June 2021. Ansari’s victory holds more significance as Muslims only comprise 11 percent in the Abhiram Das ward.

According to the electoral roll, the ward has 440 Muslim voters and 3,844 Hindu voters. In this civic poll, 2388 voters exercised their franchise in this ward. Out of it, Ansari bagged 895 votes. Another independent candidate Nagendra Kumar got 553 votes and stood second while BJP candidate was placed at third position.

“The BJP might have pulled a stunning victory on mayoral seat in Ayodhya but the Samajwadi Party gave it a tough fight in wards, nagar panchayat and nagar palika seats,” said a BJP leader of Ayodhya. “BJP’s defeat in Abhiram Das and Lakshman Ghat wards has been shocking. Party’s overall performance in 60 wards is poor. Defeat in wards has been overshadowed by stunning victory on mayoral seat,” the BJP leader added.

Mahant Girishpati Tripathi of the BJP won the mayoral seat by bagging 77,494 votes while his SP rival Ashish Pandey polled 41,856 votes. Out of 60 wards in Ayodhya, BJP won in 27 wards, Samajwadi Party on 17, 10 independent candidates, BSP on three, Peace Party, AAP and RLD in one ward each.


    Pawan Dixit has been a journalist for over a decade. He has extensively covered eastern UP for around five years, covered 2012 UP assembly polls, 2014 Lok Sabha polls while being stationed in Varanasi. Now, in Lucknow, he covers outstation political assignments, reports special cases from district court, high court and state information commission

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