Three Lok Sabha and 29 assembly seats in 29 states and UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli are up for bypolls today after incumbent MLAs defected to join BJP. The vote counting will take place on Tuesday.
The three Lok Sabha polls are from Madhya Pradesh (Khandwa), Himachal Pradesh (Mandi) and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. These three seats are vacant due to the deaths of the MPs. Khandwa MP Nand Kumar Singh and Mandi MP Ramswaroop Sharma died in March this year while the Dadra MP Mohan Delkar died by suicide a month earlier. Both the Khandwa and Mandi were held by BJP, while Mr Delkar was an independent MP.
There will be four bypolls in Bengal, including one to Cooch Behar’s Dinhata, where Udayan Guha of ruling TMC was beaten (by 57 votes) by the BJP in April-May. He gets another opportunity after the BJP’s Nisith Pramanik, the junior Home Minister, quit to hold his Lok Sabha seat; Pramanik was one of a few BJP MPs drafted in for the state elections.
The other three seats in Bengal assembly are khardah, Gosaba in North and South 24 Parganas and Santipur in Nadia district. For the BJP, the Santipur and Dinhata fights, the two of which it won in the April-May elections are prestigious to them, considering that they are presently confronting a disturbing exodus of leaders in the state.
For TMC, Khardah is significant since it has fielded state minister Sovadeb Chattopadhyay. He had won from Bhabanipur however quit so Mamata Banerjee could win an Assembly seat. Ms Banerjee earlier challenged and lost from Nandigram to aide-turned foe Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP. She needed to win a bypoll inside a half year to stay Chief Minister. She did as such by beating the BJP’s Priyanka Tibrewal by 58,832 votes.
Assam will see five assembly bypolls. These include Tamulpur in Baksa district, Gossaigaon in Kokrajhar district, Mariani and Thowra (which is situated around a tea garden of a similar name) in Jorhat district. The fifth is Bhawanipur in Barpeta district.
Gossaigaon and Tamulpur bypolls are required in light of the fact that the sitting MLAs passed on. MLAs of the other three resigned to join the BJP; Mariana and Thowra were held by the Congress before Rupjyoti Kurmi and Sushanta Borgohain quit. Presently both Kurmi and Borgohain are offering for re-appointment on BJP tickets. Bhawanipur was held by the AIUDF’s Phanidhar Talukdar before he also resigned and is currently challenging on a BJP ticket.
Meanwhile, for Congress, the Vallabhnagar and Dhariawad bypolls in Rajasthan are being viewed as a trial of the stability of its government, given strain between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot. The Gehlot-Pilot fight prompted the party nearly losing the state the year before. Vallabhnagar was held by the Congress and Dhariawad by the BJP.
Along with Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh wi see three other assembly bypolls including Job at, Prithvipur and Raigaon. Raigaon was held by the BJP and the other two by the Congress. The outcomes won’t influence Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, however he will need a solid success to guarantee a place of strength, considering that the BJP has replaced four state leaders in the last couple of months.
The other bypolls include Karnataka’s Sindgi and Hanagal constituencies, Telangana’s Huzurabad, Andhra Pradesh’s Badvel. There will be first electoral trial of new Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. Three seats from each Himachal Pradesh and Meghalaya will be voting, two in Bihar and one each in Mizoram and Maharashtra. Haryana Ellenabad is also up for the voting.