Bypoll results: All eyes on Kairana, Palghar as counting of votes begins
Votes are being counted on Thursday for the May 28 by-elections to four Lok Sabha and ten assembly constituencies, where results could set the tone for the 2019 general elections for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition.
The focus is on Uttar Pradesh’s Kairana Lok Sabha constituency, where the opposition put up a common candidate against the BJP in hope of repeating its success in the Gorakhpur and Phulpur by-elections in March. (Live Updates)
The constituency fell vacant after the death of BJP parliamentarian Hukum Singh, whose daughter Mriganka Singh is the party’s candidate for the bypoll. She is up against the Rashtriya Lok Dal’s (RLD) Tabassum Hasan, who is supported by the Congress, Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party.
The BJP is determined to retain Kairana, which was in the news over the reported 2016 exodus of Hindu families, to send a message that its defeat in Gorakhpur and Phulpur was an aberration.
Political parties and pundits are also focused on by-elections results in Palghar and Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra. The Shiv Sena fielded late BJP MP Chintaman Wanaga’s son Shriniwas Wanaga in Palghar, much to the dislike of the BJP which has nominated Congress deserter Rajendra Gavit.
The fourth Lok Sabha bypoll was held in Nagaland after the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) leader Neiphiu Rio, now chief minister of Nagaland, resigned as a Lok Sabha member in February.
Tharali in Uttrakhand, Noorpur in Uttar Pradesh, Jokihat in Bihar, Gomia and Silli in Jharkhand, Chengannur in Kerala, Palus Kadegaon in Maharashtra, Ampati in Meghalaya, Shahkot in Punjab and Maheshtala in West Bengal are the 10 assembly constituencies where byelections were held.
As many as 73 booths in Kairana held a repoll on Wednesday after the BJP and Opposition parties complained of paper trail machines (Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail machines or VVPATs) developing snags. Repoll was ordered in 49 centres in Bhandara-Gondia and one polling in Nagaland.