New Delhi, November 3
The voting for Assembly by-elections in seven vacant seats spread across the states of Maharashtra, Haryana, Bihar, Telangana, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh began on Thursday morning.
Polling is being held from 7 am to 6 pm amid tight security and the counting of votes will be conducted on November 6. Bharatiya Janata Party is in a fierce contest with regional parties such as the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Samajwadi Party (SP), and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in the Assembly bypolls in seven constituencies spread across six states.
The seven Assembly constituencies where the elections are taking place are 166-Andheri East from Maharashtra, 47-Adampur from Haryana, 93-Munugode from Telangana, 139-Gola Gokranath from Uttar Pradesh and 46-Dhamnagar from Odisha.
The two constituencies of Bihar where the bye-elections are being conducted are 178-Mokama and 101-Gopalganj.
Mokama Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Anant Kumar Singh was disqualified in July after his conviction in a case, while BJP’s Subhash Singh, who held the Gopalganj seat, passed away in August.
The Andheri East, Gola Gokrannath and Dhamnagar constituencies, too, fell vacant due to the demise of their respective legislators.
The Shiv Sena’s Ramesh Latke died in May and BJP’s Arvind Giri and Bishnu Sethi both passed away in September.
In Haryana, the resignation of Kuldeep Bishnoi, and K Rajagopal Reddy in Telangana, led to vacancies in the Adampur and Munugode segments respectively.
The contest in Telangana’s Munugode Assembly constituency is crucial for all major parties in the State- the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Opposition parties Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress.
While 47 candidates are in the fray, the eye is on BJP’s Raj Gopal Reddy, former TRS MLA Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy and Congress’ Palvai Sravanthi.
In Andheri East, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena faction has fielded Rutuja Latke, the wife of incumbent Sena MLA Ramesh Latke whose death in May necessitated the poll.
The BJP fielded Murji Patel, but he later withdrew his candidature after the party decided not to contest. This will the first election after the revolt in the Shiv Sena by Eknath Shinde and 39 other legislators which led to the collapse of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. For the Mokama bypolls, the BJP has fielded Sonam Devi p against RJD’s Neelam Devi, whose husband Anant Singh’s disqualification has necessitated the by-election.
Mokama is said to be the stronghold of Anant Singh since 2005. He won the seat twice on JD(U) tickets. BJP has given the ticket to Kusum Devi, the wife of incumbent BJP MLA Subhash Singh while RJD has fielded Mohan Prasad Gupta for Goapalgunj by-election. Haryana’s Adampur seat is witnessing the contest between BJP, Congress, Indian National Lok Dal and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Kuldeep Bishnoi’s son Bhavya is contesting the bypoll as the BJP candidate.
The Congress has fielded former Union minister Jai Prakash while the INLD picked Congress rebel Kurda Ram Nambardar as its candidate. Satender Singh is AAP’s candidate.
Kuldeep Bishnoi, son of the former Chief Minister of Haryana, Chaudhary Bhajan Lal, recently resigned from Congress and joined the BJP. Adampur’s seat fell vacant after Kuldeep Bishnoi resigned. Adampur seat is considered a stronghold of Bishnoi.
Meanwhile, eyeing the bypoll in Adampur, Panchayat and Zila Parishad elections, AAP is trying to get a foothold in Haryana. Bypolls to the Gola Gokarannath assembly constituency: The BJP has fielded his son Aman Giri while the Samajwadi Party (SP) has given a ticket to former MLA Vinay Tiwari.
The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has fielded Abanti Das for Odisha’s Dhamnagar bypolls while the BJP has fielded Suryabanshi Suraj Sthitaprajana the son of Bishnu Sethi, BJP MLA after whose death, the assembly seat fell vacant, as its candidate for the by-election.
The AAP is also in the fray and has given a ticket to Anwar Sheikh.