The stage is set for the October 30 bypolls to three Lok Sabha seats and 30 assembly constituencies, where several political heavyweights have ramped up campaigning efforts in the weeks leading up to the high-stakes elections.
The seats where Lok Sabha bypolls will be held include Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Mandi in Himachal Pradesh and Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh. Meanwhile, the assembly bypolls will be held in 30 seats spread across 14 states.
The counting of votes will begin on November 2.
Here is a list of the poll-bound states and the main contenders
Assembly bye-elections are scheduled at Tarapur (Munger) and Kusheshwar Sthan (Darbhanga) in Bihar on October 30. The bypolls are being held after the deaths of MLAs Shashi Bhushan Hazari (Kusheshwar Sthan) and Mewalal Choudhary (Tarapur), both from the JD(U).
In Tarapur, the RJD, which lost in 2020 by 7,500 votes, has fielded an OBC Baniya candidate, Arun Kumar Sah. Its strategy is to split the core Baniya vote of the NDA, while retaining its own Yadav-Muslim vote. The JD(U), which has been winning the seat for over two decades, has fielded Rajiv Kumar Singh, an OBC Kushwaha leader. Meanwhile, the Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) has fielded Chandan Singh, an upper caste Rajput; the Congress has fielded Rajesh Mishra, a Brahmin candidate.
In Kusheshwar Sthan, the JD(U) has fielded the deceased MLA Shashi Bhushan Hazari’s son Aman Hazari, in hopes of a sympathy vote. The Congress has fielded Atirek Kumar, son of former Congress MLA Ashok Ram, who had lost in 2020 by a narrow margin of 7,000 votes. The RJD has fielded Ganesh Bharti.
Here the bye-elections will take place in Hanagal and Sindgi constituencies. The upcoming election is widely being seen as a prestige issue and the first electoral test for the new BJP Chief Minister, Basavaraj Bommai, who replaced veteran leader B S Yediyurappa on July 28.
In fact, one of the seats, Hanagal, falls in Haveri district, which is the CM’s home district. This seat fell vacant following the death of former BJP MLA C M Udasi. The bypoll to the Sindgi seat was necessitated after the death of former Janata Dal Secular candidate from the seat M C Managuli.
In Haveri, the BJP has fielded district president Shivaraj Sajjanar, a long-term party worker. On the other hand, Congress fielded Srinivas Mane, who lost the 2018 state election to C M Udasi by a narrow margin of 6,000 votes.
In the Sindgi seat, BJP has fielded its MLA from the 2008-2013 period, Ramesh Bhusanur. Congress has fielded Ashok Managuli, the son of the JDS MLA M C Managuli who died in January this year. JDS has fielded a female, minority candidate Naziya Angadi.
As many as one parliamentary and three assembly bye-elections are slated to take place in Himachal Pradesh later this month.
The ruling BJP has fielded Kargil War hero Brigadier (retd) Khushal Singh Thakur from the Mandi parliamentary seat against former Congress MP Pratibha Singh for the upcoming bypolls.
In the Jubbal Kotkhai Vidhan Sabha constituency, the BJP has decided to field Neelam Saraik. The Congress has fielded former MLA Rohit Thakur here.
Meanwhile, the BJP has fielded RSS-backed Ratan Singh Pal, a commission agent in Solan, from Arki, while the Congress has showed faith in party general secretary Sanjay Awasthi.
In Fatehpur constituency in Kangra district, BJP fielded Bhawani Singh Pathania, son of the late Sujan Singh Pathania, who died in February this year after a long illness. The Congress has fielded Baldev Thakur.
BJP’s Brigadier Khushal Thakur (retd) campaigning in Mandi.
(Express photo by Navjeevan Gopal)
On Wednesday, the high-stakes campaign for the bye-election to Telangana’s Huzurabad Assembly Constituency came to an end. It has been necessitated by the resignation of Rajender, the former health minister who was dropped from the Cabinet on May 1 over allegations of land grabbing by a company owned by him.
The four-time MLA from Huzurabad resigned from the TRS and as an MLA on June 4 before joining the BJP on June 14. He has been nominated by the BJP as its candidate.
Meanwhile, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has nominated Gellu Srinivas Yadav, the chief of student wing TRS Vidhyarthi, as its candidate. The Congress has nominated 29-year-old political novice B Venkat Narsing Rao, chief of the state’s NSUI unit, as its candidate.
Bye-elections are slated to take place in the Vallabhnagar and Dhariawad assembly seats in Rajasthan. The bypolls were necessitated following the death of incumbent MLAs.
For the Vallabhnagar seat, Congress has nominated Preeti Shaktawat, the wife of late MLA Gajendra Singh Shaktawat, while the BJP’s pick is businessman Himmat Singh Jhala.
Meanwhile in Dhariawad, the BJP fielded Khet Singh Meena, while the Congress has picked Nagraj Meena, who has already contested the assembly polls from the Dhariawad seat five times in the past.
Only one constituency, Deglur in Nanded district, will be going to polls on October 30. The Congress has fielded Jitesh Antapurkar, son of Raosaheb Antapurkar, whose death necessitated the polls. Meanwhile, the BJP has nominated former Shiv Sena legislator Subhash Sabne.
Apart from Sabne and Antapurkar, the candidates in the fray also include Vivek Kerkar of the Janata Dal (Secular), Parmeshwar Waghmare of the Bahujan Bharat Party, Uttam Ingole of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi, and D D Waghmare of the RPI (K).
The Ellenabad constituency in Haryana is set to witness a triangular contest – among INLD, BJP-JJP and Congress – during the bypolls scheduled to be held on October 30.
While INLD’s Abhay Chautala will fight to save his party’s existence in the Vidhan Sabha, BJP has nominated Haryana Lokhit Party’s lone MLA Gopal Kanda’s brother Gobind Kanda, and the Congress nominated BJP rebel Pawan Beniwal as its candidate.
Voting for five Assembly constituencies — Gossaigaon, Tamulpur, Bhabanipur, Mariani and Thowra — is scheduled for October 30.
The ruling BJP has fielded candidates in three out of five seats, leaving the remaining two for alliance partner UPPL. The Congress, meanwhile, put up nominees in all the five. The Congress’ former allies, AIUDF and BPF, are contesting in two and one seats, respectively.
Himanta Biswa Sarma campaigning in Mariani (Twitter/Himanta Biswa Sarma)
The BJP and YSRC are set to lock horns in the upcoming Badvel Assembly by-election. The ruling YSRC has fielded Dr D Sudha, the wife of the deceased MLA Dr Venkatasubbaiah. Meanwhile, Suresh Panathala has been selected as the BJP’s candidate.
The BJP, a constituent of the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance, will contest in one of the three by-elections in the state slated for October 30, while the opposition Congress decided to fight in all the three seats.
The BJP nominated Kingstone Marak, vice-president of its West Garo Hills district unit, for the Rajabala constituency.
The AICC has approved the candidature of Highlander Kharmalki from Mawryngkneng, Kennedy C Khyriem (former MLA) from Mawphlang and Hashina Yasmin Mondal from Rajabala, a senior party leader told PTI.
The United Democratic Party had earlier announced that former Indian footballer Eugeneson Lyngdoh is its candidate for the Mawphlang seat which was held by his father SK Sunn.
Mamata Banerjee while campaigning for the Bhabanipur bypoll on Friday. (Express Photo: Partha Paul)
In Bengal, the bye-elections will be held in Kharadaha, Shantipur, Dinhata and Gosaba. In Gosaba and Khardaha, two TMC MLAs died, necessitating the election. Meanwhile in Dinhata and Shantipur, two MPs Nishith Pramanik and Jagannath Sarkar resigned.