Swatantradev Singh, head of the Uttar Pradesh BJP, said on Monday that the party’s candidates’ success in the panchayat elections was due to the Yogi Adityanath government’s emphasis on rural development and farmer welfare.

In a statement released here on Monday, Singh said that in the state’s three-tier panchayat election, over 45,000 party-supported candidates were elected as village pradhans, while over 60,000 party-supported candidates were elected as representatives of kshetra panchayats.

“As many as 918 party-backed candidates have won positions as Zila panchayat members,” he said.

“The party-backed candidates have taken a commanding lead on more than 450 seats,” Singh said.

The counting of votes for the Uttar Pradesh Panchayat elections says that it is a tight race between the BJP and the Samajwadi Party.

According to data from local news channels, as of 8.30 p.m. Monday, BJP-backed candidates led in 699 of the total 3,050 district panchayat seats that went to polls, while Samajwadi Party-backed candidates led in 689.

The Bahujan Samaj Party has 266 seats, the Congress has 66, and others, including Independents, have 637 seats.

Panchayat elections are not fought on the basis of political party colors or along political lines, but each party has announced their support for specific candidates. According to Election Commission officials, a party can declare a candidate to be a’samarthit pratyashi,’ or a sponsored candidate.

In this way, the Samajwadi Party is also leading in some main state constituencies.

The SP leads in 13 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency. This is followed by the BJP, which has a seven-seat advantage, and the BSP, which has a five-seat lead.

A similar pattern is in Lucknow, the constituency of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The Samajwadi Party leads in six of the possible 25 seats, while the BJP leads in just two, led by the Congress and BSP, both of which lead in one.

The SP leads in 24 of the 40 seats in Ayodhya, the BJP in six, the BSP in five, and other candidates are winning in the remaining five.