BJP faced an embarrassment in the Hindutva nerve-centres of Ayodhya, Kashi & Mathura, where Opposition-backed candidates surged ahead in the panchayat poll tally as counting picked up pace on May 4. Despite ambitious plans of turning Ayodhya into the Vatican of Hindus & the buzz of Ram temple construction, the epicentre of the temple movement delivered the biggest jolt to BJP. It could muster wins in only eight of 40 zila panchayat wards. The principal gainer was Samajwadi Party, which bagged 24 seats. BSP also managed to wrest four, while Independents registered victories on six seats. In Sohawal sub-district of Ayodhya, where Supreme Court had mandated 5 acres of land for construction of a mosque in lieu of Babri masjid, three wards were won by SP while one went to an Independent candidate. In Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency, Varanasi, though BJP and SP claimed to have won 16 seats each of the 40 zila panchayat wards, The Times of India reported that BJP could muster only 7 seats till reports last came in. Mayawati-led BSP bagged three seats, whereas Apna Dal (S) won three. Remaining seats were won by Independents. Watch the video to know more.
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