A direct contest between the BJP and Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) alliance will be witnessed on Monday, as bypolls to one Lok Sabha seat – Mainpuri – and two assembly constituencies – Rampur Sadar and Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh will take place. Apart from these, bypolls to Bihar’s Kurhani, Chhattisgarh’s Bhanupratappur, Rajasthan’s Sardarshahar and Odisha’s Padampur will also take place.
Elaborate arrangements have been made ahead of bypolls across the five states on Monday. The counting of votes for the one Lok Sabha and six assembly seats will take place on the same day as that of the ballot count for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections.
The Mainpuri Lok Sabha constituency fell vacant after Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s death this year. Akhilesh Yadav and other party members sweat hard during the campaign period to make sure the family turf isn’t lost to any other party. Akhilesh Yadav went all out to placate his uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav, who was an MLA from Jaswant Nagar, one of the segments in the constituency, and managed to persuade him to campaign for his wife Dimple Yadav, who is the SP nominee from Mainpuri.
She has been fielded against BJP’s Raghuraj Singh Shakya. Top SP leaders, including Dimple Yadav’s husband and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, led an aggressive campaign for the bypoll to the seat which has been a party stronghold, a PTI report said.
Rampur Sadar and Khatauli
The Rampur Sadar assembly constituency will go to bypolls on December 5, for the sixth time since 2017. In Rampur Sadar and Khatauli, the polls were necessitated after SP MLA Azam Khan and BJP MLA Vikram Singh Saini were disqualified following their conviction in separate cases. While Khan was disqualified after a court awarded him three-year imprisonment in a 2019 hate speech case, Saini lost his membership of the assembly after his conviction in a 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots case.
In both the assembly seats, BJP enjoys a comfortable majority. This means the outcome of the bypolls will not have any impact on the central or the state governments, a PTI report said.
According to a statement issued by the office of Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Electoral Officer, 24.43 lakh people will exercise their voting rights in the bypolls. This includes 13.14 lakh male voters, 11.29 lakh female voters and 132 third category voters.
Bypoll to Padampur seat in Odisha was necessitated by the death of BJD legislator Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha. Elaborate security arrangements have been made for free and fair voting. As many as 10 candidates are in the fray for the by-election.
The bypoll comes after BJD’s loss in Dhamnagar, for the first time since 2009. Many political circles had claimed that the result would also indicate if electoral scales were tilting against the Naveen Patnaik-led party ahead of 2024 state elections.
The bypoll to Chhattisgarh’s Bhanupratappur seat, reserved for Scheduled Tribes, in the Maoist-hit Kanker was necessitated due to the death of Congress MLA and deputy speaker of the Assembly Manoj Singh Mandavi last month.
As many as seven candidates are in the fray, though it is largely a direct contest between the ruling Congress and the BJP. The Congress has fielded Savitri Mandavi, the wife of the deceased MLA, while the BJP nominee is former MLA Brahmanand Netam.
In the Kurhani assembly segment in Bihar, the success of JD(U) candidate Manoj Singh Kushwaha, a former MLA, will cement Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s position, while a loss may embolden his detractors. The JD(U) is contesting the seat where the by-election has been necessitated by the disqualification of RJD MLA Anil Kumar Sahani.
In Rajasthan’s Sadarshahar, bypoll has been necessitated by Congress MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma (77) who passed away on October 9 after a prolonged illness. Polling will be held on Monday from 8 am to 5 pm and counting of votes will take place on December 8. The Congress has fielded Bhanwar Lal Sharma’s son Anil Kumar while the BJP has pitted former MLA Ashok Kumar for the bypoll.
Eight other candidates in the fray are Lalchand of the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP), Sanwarmal Meghwal of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Parmana Ram of Indian People’s Green Party and Independent candidates Subhash Chandra, Vijay Pal Singh Sheoran, Umesh Sahu, Prem Singh and Surendra Singh Rajpurohit.
(With PTI Inputs)
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