Counting of votes for bypolls today in 3 Lok Sabha, 29 assembly seats
The assembly bypolls were held in five seats in Assam, four in West Bengal, three each in Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, two each in Bihar, Karnataka and Rajasthan and one seat each is in Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Mizoram and Telangana.
Votes will be counted on Tuesday in three Lok Sabha and 29 assembly constituencies spread across 13 states and the Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli where by-elections were held on October 30.
The assembly by-elections which saw a high turnout were held in five seats in Assam, four in West Bengal, three each in Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, two each in Bihar, Karnataka and Rajasthan and one seat each is in Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Mizoram and Telangana.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) grabbed around half a dozen constituencies out of the 29 assembly seats, the Congress party nine and the rest were grabbed by regional parties.
Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Mandi in Himachal Pradesh and Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh saw bypolls for Lok Sabha seats after the sitting members died.
The Dadra and Nagar Haveli fell vacant after the demise of Independent Lok Sabha member Mohan Delkar, in Mandi, the BJP’s Ramswaroop Sharma died in March and the by-election to the Khandwa parliamentary constituency was necessitated following the death of BJP member Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan.
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Counting of votes will also take place in Andhra Pradesh's Badvel seat, earlier held by the YSRC, Deglur in Maharashtra, which was held by the Congress, and Tuirial assembly seat in Mizoram.
Counting will also be held in Himachal Pradesh, where polls were held on three seats in Fatehpur, Arki and Jubbal-Kotkhai, Karnataka’ Sindgi and Hangal, Madhya Pradesh’s Prithvipur, Raigaon (SC), Jobat (ST) seats and Maharashtra’s Deglur (SC) seat.
Meghalaya also held assembly bypolls for the Mawryngkneng (ST), Mawphlang (ST) and Rajabala constituencies. Polls took place in Mizoram’s Tuirial (ST) assembly constituency and Nagaland’s Shamtorr-Chessore (ST) assembly seat.
Lok Sabha seats
Seven-time independent MP Mohan Delkar's wife Kalaben Delkar is contesting as Shiv Sena candidate against the BJP's Mahesh Gavit and Congress' Mahesh Dhodi in the Dadra and Nagar Haveli Lok Sabha constituency.
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In Mandi, Pratibha Singh is contesting against the BJP's nominee Khushal Singh Thakur, a Kargil war hero. The Khandwa Lok Sabha seat in Madhya Pradesh was previously with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP fielded former district panchayat president Gyaneshwar Patil, denying the ticket to Harshvardhan Chauhan, the son of sitting MP Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan whose demise necessitated the bypoll. The Congress has nominated former MLA Rajnarayan Singh Purni.
The ruling BJP has fielded candidates in three seats in Assam leaving the other two to alliance partner United People's Party Liberal (UPPL). The Congress has fielded its nominees in all the five seats and the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and the Bodoland People's Front (BPF)—its former allies,—are contesting in two and one seats respectively.
In West Bengal, the bypolls to the Dinhata and Santipur seats are being seen as a prestige battle for the BJP, which is currently grappling with an exodus of MLAs and senior leaders.
Trinamool Congress heavyweight Udayan Guha is aiming to reclaim the Dinhata seat, from which a BJP won against him in the elections held in April. The bypoll was held following the resignation of Nisith Pramanik, now Union minister of state for home affairs after he retained his Lok Sabha membership. In Santipur, BJP lawmaker Jagannath Sarkar resigned from the Bengal assembly.
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In Haryana, the by-election to the Ellenabad assembly constituency was necessitated by the resignation of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Abhay Chautala as MLA in protest against the Centre's new farm laws.
Chautala, son of INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala, is contesting against Congress nominee Pawan Beniwal and BJP-JP candidate Gobind Kanda, the brother of Haryana Lokhit Party chief and legislator Gopal Kanda.
It is an important contest for the Chautalas as Abhay Chautala won the 2010 bypolls from Ellenabad when Om Prakash Chautala vacated the seat, and then retained it in 2014. He also retained it in the 2019 assembly polls, when he was the only INLD MLA in the House.
In Bihar, the assembly seats of Tarapur in Munger and Kusheshwar Sthan in Darbhanga fell vacant after the deaths of MLAs Mewalal Choudhary and Shashi Bhushan Hazari, both from the JD(U).
The RJD has fielded Arun Kumar Sah against JD(U)'s Rajiv Singh in Tarapur against Congress candidate, Rajesh Kumar Mishra. In Kusheshwar Sthan, Shashi Bhushan Hazari's son Aman Bhushan Hajari is contesting against the RJD's Ganesh Bharti and Congress' Atirek Kumar.
In the Huzurabad assembly constituency in Telangana, as many as 30 candidates are in the fray but the main contest is among Gellu Srinivas Yadav of the ruling Telangana Rashtriya Samithi (TRS), the opposition BJP's Eatala Rajender and Venkat Balmoori of the Congress party.
The by-election was held after Eatala Rajender resigned in June following his removal from the state cabinet over allegations of land grabbing. Rajender, who dismissed the allegations, quit the TRS and is contesting on a BJP ticket. The result is significant for the BJP as it aims at emerging as an alternative to the ruling TRS in the 2023 assembly elections.
In Meghalaya, former national footballer Eugeneson Lyngdoh is contesting the election from Mawphlang on a United Democratic Party (UDP) ticket. He is up against former Congress MLA Kennedy C Khyriem and a sitting member of the district council (MDC) from the NPP, Lamphrang Blah.
In Rajasthan, the bypolls were necessitated after the death of Vallabhnagar Congress MLA Gajendra Singh Shaktawat and BJP legislator from Dhariawad Gautam Lal Meena.
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In Vallabhnagar, the ruling Congress party has given a ticket to Gajendra Shaktawat's wife, Preeti Shaktawat, against BJP leader Himmat Singh Jhala. The Congress has fielded Nagraj Meena in Dhariawad against the BJP's Khet Singh Meena.
Both the BJP and the Congress are keen to win in Rajasthan as the results will send a message across the state about how the Ashok Gehlot government, which is facing a challenge from the Congress faction led by Sachin Pilot, has performed.
In Karnataka, the byelection had to be held following the death of Sindgi JD(S) legislator MC Managuli and the BJP's CM Udasi from Hangal and will be the first electoral test for chief minister Basavaraj Bommai, who replaced BS Yediyurappa.