Lucknow: The ruling Samajwadi Party on Monday claimed victory in Panchayat polls in Uttar Pradesh that dealt a jolt to the BJP and helped the MIM of Asaduddin Owaisi to open its account.
The Congress suffered a rout, getting wiped out even in the two Lok Sabha constituencies of Rae Bareli and Amethi represented by party president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi.
The Samajwadi Party claimed victory in the polls, saying the results were tilted in its favour.
"The results are a clear signal that the people are favouring the development-oriented politics and governance of (Chief Minister) Akhilesh Yadav," party spokesman and cabinet minister Rajendra Chowdhary said.
As the results trickled in, the results seemed to be favouring the Samajwadi Party and its arch rival the Bahujan Samaj Party in many places.
The oucome has come as a shocker to the Bharatiya Janata Party, which jumped into the fray despite reservations of party veterans against contesting the polls.
BJP candidates didn't do well in the election, which was widely seen as a semi-final ahead of the next assembly elections.
BJP leader Om Mathur, who is in-charge of the state, is reaching here to take stock of the results.
Independents have won the largest chunk of seats, an election official told IANS.
In a significant development, Owaisi's MIM won a seat in Azamgarh, the parliamentary constituency of Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Trends suggest that the MIM is also leading in some wards at other places. These include wards 3 and 29 in Balrampur, ward 32 in Azamgarh and ward 12A in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar.
The MIM win in Uttar Pradesh panchayat polls, comes along with the party's impressive win in the Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation elections. The MIM had fielded seven candidates here and four of them have won.
The MIM win is also a blow to the ruling Samajwadi Party which relied heavily on Muslim votes, but did nothing for the community. Also, ahead of the panchayat polls, the SP government did everythinh - from banning Asaduddin Owaisi and Akbaruddin Owaisi's rallies in the state and harassing the party workers.
The poll result however now showed that all efforts of the SP government backfired, and the Muslims rallied strongly in the favour of MIM>
At other places, some key candidates of the BJP and the Samajwadi Party fared poorly.
The Congress was routed in its strongholds Amethi and Rae Bareli.
In Rae Bareli, which Sonia Gandhi represents in the Lok Sabha, 21 of the 22 party candidates lost.
In the eight seats of Amethi, the Congress could not win a single seat.