EC announces dates for 56 assembly and one parliamentary by-poll, voting on Nov 3 and 7
The Election Commission on Tuesday announced that 54 assembly constituencies and one parliamentary constituency across 10 states would go to polls on November 3 and 7, respectively.
Two assembly constituencies in Manipur will also go to polls along with the parliamentary constituency of Valmiki Nagar in Bihar on November 3.
The results of the elections will be declared by November 12 at the latest, with counting taking place on November 10. The Commission’s schedule follows the announcement of the three-phase Bihar assembly elections, which also goes to polls from October 28 to November 7.
Elections to seven assembly constituencies across Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, however, have been deferred as the term of the House in the above-mentioned states is due to lapse in either May or June next year. People familiar with the matter had earlier told Hindustan Times that it did not make sense to hold the elections in Kerala, where there are only two vacancies, as the assembly in the state is due to be re-elected before June 2021.
“In the midst of this pandemic and considering the devastation caused due to the floods, it would be unnecessarily expensive to hold the by-polls,” one person familiar with the matter had said, adding that a representation to defer the polls had been sent to the Commission in August.
The Commission will now hold polls for Chhattisgarh (1), Gujarat (8), Haryana (1), Jharkhand (2), Karnataka (2) , Manipur (2), Nagaland (2), Odisha (2), Madhya Pradesh (28) Telangana (1) and Uttar Pradesh (7) assembly constituencies.
The 28 constituencies in Madhya Pradesh were vacated in March after Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the Congress to join the BJP along with his loyalists. The shift led to the fall of the Congress government in the state, with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Shivraj Chouhan returning as chief minister. The by-polls are crucial to the BJP government’s survival in the state as it enjoys a wafer-thin majority in the 230-member state assembly. The BJP needs to win nine out of the 28 seats. It currently has 107 seats. The Congress, which lost power in March when its 21 lawmakers resigned and paved the way for BJP’s return to power, has 88 members in the House with an effective strength of 202.
The EC will also hold polls for the Valmiki Nagar parliamentary constituency, which fell vacant upon the death of JD(U)’S Lok Sabha minister Baidyanath Prasad Mahato in February.