Leaders of different political parties will keenly watch out for the number of votes BJP candidates secure in the four Lok Sabha and eight assembly constituencies that are electing their representatives on Saturday, which they think, may provide the first indication of the people’s mood following the troubles triggered by the note ban decision.
These constituencies are in Assam (one each in Lok Sabha and assembly), Arunachal Pradesh (one assembly), Madhya Pradesh (one each in Lok Sabha and assembly), West Bengal (two Lok Sabha one assembly), Tamil Nadu (one assembly), Tripura (two assembly) and Puducherry (one assembly).
“I am sure that BJP will win wherever it won or got a good number o votes. The party will also put up a good show in those seats wherever the party did not put up a great show. For example, in Bengal, we are in a very strong position, but after this election, we will become the talk of the town. Our results will prove how the common people have come to support the party after the demonitisation decision, said Dilip Ghosh, the BJP state president.
Significantly, BJP lost all 17 seats in an election in an agriculture body in Panvel, Maharashtra where the party is in power.
“The result of four Lok Sabha and eight assembly constituencies will not reflect the total mood of the country and at the same time I would like to say that the demonitisation decision violates article 300A of the Constitution,” Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, Trinamool Rajya Sabha member told HT.
Former Bengal Congress president Pradeep Bhattacharya told HT that he was not very sure of the effect on the ruling party fortunes. “The votes will not be held properly, so the effect can’t be properly measured,” said Bhattacharya.
“In Bengal there will be no positive effect of demonitisation on BJP votes. But elsewhere they may gain due to the claim that they are fighting black money,” said CPI(M) state secretariat leader and MLA Sujan Chakraborty.
The four Lok Sabha constituencies where election is going to take place on Saturday are Lakhimpur (Assam), Shadol (Madhya Pradesh), Cooch Behar and Tamluk (West Bengal). BJP won in Lakhimpur and Shadol Lok Sabaha constituencies in the last election.
For Lakhimpur, BJP candidate secured 55.05% votes where in Shadol the BJP candidate got 54.22% votes. For the eight Assembly constituencies where election is going to be held, BJP won only in Nepanagar Assembly constituency in Madhya Pradesh.
In the last Lok Sabha election, BJP had put up a poor show in the three constituencies in Bengal. It got nearly 5.5% votes in Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency, about 19% votes in the Cooch Behar Lok Sabha constituency, and 9% in the Monteswar assembly constituency.
BJP is the ruling party in the states of MP and Assam. While BJP leaders are confident to gather nationwide support in the by-elections, Congress is confident that BJP has to face the wrath of the commoners in the by-election.
“People were facing grave problems with this dictatorial order. Both the common man and farmers were forced to stand in long queues. Farmers don’t have enough money to purchase fertilizers and seeds,” Madhya Pradesh Congress president Arun Yadav remarked earlier.
“For us, it is indeed a litmus test,” said a senior state leader of BJP.