SP ahead in UP panchayat polls, BJP opens back-channel talks with independent



After scrambling a near loss in UP panchayat polls BJP has opened ts back door to independent leader for negotiation as the Samajwadi Party (SP) is surging ahead in the Uttar Pradesh panchayat polls, considered assembly polls next year, with counting trends indicating that SP-supported candidates were frontrunners in 747 zila panchayat wards, while BJP-backed nominees were leading or have won 666 seats.Due to which BJP has open back-channel negotiations with Independents who have won or are leading in 3,050 zila panchayat wards to seize control over the top tier of rural local bodies.Top sources in BJP said, the party is trying to reach out to 1,238 Independent candidates to wrest maximum posts of zila panchayat chairpersons, which would be held through indirect election.Trends show BSP and Congress supported candidates were leading on more than 322 and 77 zila panchayat wards, respectively.A senior BJP functionary confirmed to that the party was in touch with Independents, who also comprise party rebels. "Panchayat elections are more about local influential candidates who contest without support of any political party. That is the reason most winners or frontrunners are Independents. We fielded our party functionaries to cultivate grassroots leadership, which holds the key for any political party," said UP BJP vice-president and party in-charge for panchayat elections, Vijay Bahadur Pathak.



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