NEW DELHI: Voting is under way for byelections on 54 assembly seats spread across 10 states on Tuesday, including 28 seats in Madhya Pradesh where the BJP is locked in a keenly-fought contest with the Congress to save its government.
Polling is taking place in 28 seats in Madhya Pradesh, 8 in Gujarat, 7 in Uttar Pradesh, 2 each in Odisha, Nagaland, Karnataka and Jharkhand, and one seat each in Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Haryana.
Here is all you need to know about these bypolls:
Madhya Pradesh
With gloved hands, over 63 lakh voters in 28 constituencies will decide the fate of 355 candidates in the most hotly contested bypolls in MP ever, in the most sanitized of polling booths.
It’s the first time that 12 ministers — 14 if you count Tulsiram Silawat and Govind Singh Rajput, who resigned upon completion of six months on October 21 — are contesting bypolls in MP.
They are among 22 Congress MLAs, who switched over to BJP along with Jyotiraditya Scindia ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls, toppling the Kamal Nath government. Three more Congress MLAs would leave in the next couple of months. The result of this was a bitter, no-holds barred campaign in which the Election Commission was kept on its toes by barrages of complaints from both sides.
BJP needs nine seats to reach simple majority. Congress needs to win all 28. Many of these seats are expected to go down to the wire. An interesting aspect of this bypoll is that both sides have fielded candidates who switched teams.
Uttar Pradesh
Battlelines have been drawn for bypolls on seven assembly seats on Tuesday which could potentially decide the future discourse of political parties in UP in the run up to highstake state elections due in 2022.
The seven seats where voting is being held include Naugawan Sadat, Bulandshahr, Ghatampur, Malhani, Bangarmau, Tundla and Deoria. Except for Malhani in Jaunpur district, the remaining seats were won by the BJP in 2017 assembly elections.
Riding on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Yogi Adityanath, the BJP and its ideological fountain-head, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), have already pressed in their cadre to retain the political ground won in 2017.
The ruling party in UP, however, faces a tough challenge from the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party which would seek to regain its lost political ground. The Congress has also been seeking to find a foothold in a politically crucial state, especially after its win over BJP in states like Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
Experts said the SP would bank on the consolidation of Muslim votebank, especially after BSP chief Mayawati last week announced that she would support BJP to ensure the defeat of SP in Vidhan Parishad elections in January next year.
BSP, contrary to its tradition, has also thrown its hat in the by-elections. Experts said the party would bank on consolidation of its traditional votebank, essentially comprising Dalits and other backward castes (OBCs).
Despite Mayawati’s silence, BSP seeks to get the support of Dalits, especially after Hathras incident in which a Dalit girl was gang-raped and murdered.
BSP has also been trying hard to replicate its tried and tested social engineering formula – seeking amalgamation of Dalits and upper caste – which catapulted Mayawati to power with absolute majority in 2007 assembly elections. Mayawati’s close aide and Rajya Sabha member Satish Chandra Mishra has been addressing election meetings to win over Brahmins.
Gujarat
Voting for byelections to eight assembly seats in Gujarat is taking place held from 7am to 6pm on Tuesday and authorities are focused on measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 due to polling, officials said on Monday.
A total of 81 candidates are in fray in the eight seats, which collectively have 18.75 lakh voters, Gujarat chief electoral officer (COO) S Murali Krishna told reporters in Gandhinagar. “As not more than 1,000 voters are allowed in one booth due to Covid-19 concerns and guidelines of the Election Commission of India (ECI), 3,024 polling booths have been set up, higher than in a normal scenario,” the COO said.
The official added that 3,400 thermal guns, 41,000 N-95 masks, 82,000 disposable masks, 41,000 face shields and an equal number of rubber hand gloves have been procured for the staff deployed for polling.
The voting process will be webcast live from 900 polling booths, the official said.
Bypolls will be held in eight seats- Abdasa (Kutch district), Limbdi (Surendranagar), Morbi (Morbi district), Dhari (Amreli), Gadhada (Botad), Karjan (Vadodara), Dang (Dang district) and Kaprada (Valsad).
The byelections to these seats became necessary after their sitting Congress MLAs resigned ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls held in June this year. Five of them later joined the ruling BJP and the party has fielded them from the seats which they won in 2017.
The Bharatiya Tribal Party, which has two MLAs at present in the 182-member assembly, has also fielded two candidates in Dang, a seat reserved for scheduled tribe candidates, and Karjan. Smaller outfits like the Bahujan Maha Party, Bahujan Mukti Party, Bharatiya Jana Parishad, Akhil Bharatiya Rajarya Sabha, All India Majlish-e-Inqulab-e-Millat, Rashtravadi Jana Chetna, Yuva Jan Jagruti, Vyavastha Parivartan Party and Rashtriya Jankranti Party have also fielded a few candidates. The counting of votes will be taken up on November 10.
Karnataka
In Karnataka, voting is being held in Rajarajeshwari Nagar in Bengaluru Urban district and Sira in Tumakuru district, where a total of 31 candidates are fighting.
They have 6,78,012 voters including 3,26,114 women.
The death of Sira MLA B Satyanarayana, who was from the JD(S), and the resignation of RR Nagar Congress MLA Munirathna from the assembly, last year, led to the bye-elections.
In RR Nagar, the BJP has fielded former Congress MLA Munirathna whereas the Congress has given ticket to H Kusuma, wife of former IAS officer late D K Ravi in the seat traditionally held by the party.
The JD(S) has fielded V Krishnamurthy.
The RR Nagar has become a prestigious issue for both the Congress and the BJP.
The BJP had earlier held this constituency, which Munirathna had wrested as the Congress MLA.
The constituency is part of the Bengaluru Rural Lok Sabha constituency which is represented by D K Suresh, who is the brother of Congress state chief D K Shivakumar.
In Sira, the BJP, Congress and JD(S) have fielded radiologist Dr Rakesh Gowda, former minister T B Jayachandra and former (JD-S) MLA B Satyanarayana’s wife Ammajamma respectively.
The BJP has never won the election from there, but this time, the party is trying to turn the tables on the Congress and the JD(S).
Chief minister B S Yediyurappa’s son and BJP state vice president B Y Vijayendra led the election campaign here.
Chhattisgarh
In Chhattisgarh, voting in Marwahi assembly bypolls, earlier represented by veteran leader Ajit Jogi, is being held with a straight fight between the ruling Congress and the main opposition BJP.
The bypoll for the Scheduled Tribes (ST)-reserved constituency was necessitated following the death of sitting JCC (J) legislator and former chief minister Ajit Jogi on May 29.
The seat will this time see a fight between the Congress and the BJP after the nomination papers of Amit Jogi, the son of Ajit Jogi, and his wife Richa were rejected by the returning officer, who said their caste certificates were invalid.
A total of 1.80 lakh eligible voters will decide the fate of 14 candidates, including wrestler and BJP candidate Yogeshwar Dutt, in the Baroda assembly bypolls in Haryana.
Telangana
In Telangana’s Dubbak assembly, though over 20 candidates are in the fray, the main contest is among the candidates of the TRS, BJP and the Congress.
The byelection was necessitated by the death of sitting TRS MLA Solipeta Ramalinga Reddy due to health problems in August this year and the TRS has fielded his widow Solipeta Sujatha as its candidate.
Jharkhand
Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren’s home turf Dumka will see a contest between his younger brother Basant Soren and former cabinet minister Lois Marandi of the BJP.
It is expected to be a straight fight between BJP’s Yogeshwar Mahato and Anup Singh of the Congress in Bermo seat in Bokaro district.
Odisha
In Odisha, the BJD and the BJP are fighting for Tirtol and Balasore seats won by the two parties, respectively, in the 2019 assembly elections.
Nagaland
Altogether eight candidates are in contesting the byelection to two assembly seats in Nagaland — three from the Southern Angami-1 seat and five from Pungro-Kiphire constituency.
Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) nominee Medo Yhokha, Opposition Naga Peoples Front (NPF) candidate Kikovi Kirha and Independent candidate Seyievilie Peter Zashumo are contesting from the 14-Southern Angami-I seat.
For Pungro-Kiphire seat, the five candidates are Khaseo Anar of Congress party, BJP nominee Lirimong Sangtam and three Independent candidates – K Shellumthong, T. Yangseo Sangtam and Kiusumew Yimchunger.
The Southern Angami-I seat fell vacant following the demise of Speaker of Nagaland Assembly, Vikho-o Yhoshu on December 30, 2019 due to lung cancer.
The Pungro-Kiphire seat was declared vacant following the death of sitting opposition Naga Peoples Front MLA, T. Torechu after prolonged illness.
(With inputs from agencies)

In Video:Byelections 2020: All you need to know

By user

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *