Voting under way in bypolls for Mainpuri Lok Sabha and 6 assembly seats across 5 states | India News

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NEW DELHI: While all eyes are set on phase 2 of the Gujarat assembly elections, votes are also being cast for 6 assembly seats across 5 states and and on one Lok Sabha seat in bypolls today.
Rampur Sadar and Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh, Padampur in Odisha, Sardarshahar in Rajasthan, Kurhani in Bihar and Bhanupratappur in Chhattisgarh are the assembly seats where the bypolls are being held.
The polling was being held amid tight security arrangements. In Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Chhattisgarh, the polling began at 7am, while in Rajasthan it started at 8am.
In Uttar Pradesh, a direct contest between the BJP and the Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) alliance is on the cards in bypolls to the Rampur Sadar and Khatauli assembly seats and the Mainpuri Lok Sabha constituency.
The BSP and the Congress are not contesting the bypolls.
Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat
The byelection to the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat is taking place due to the death of Samajwadi Party (SP) founder Mulayam Singh Yadav.
In Mainpuri, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s elder daughter-in-law and SP president Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav is pitted against BJP’s Raghuraj Singh Shakya, a former confidant of Mulayam’s brother Shivpal Singh Yadav.
The bypolls in Rampur Sadar and Khatauli were necessitated after SP MLA Azam Khan and BJP MLA Vikram Singh Saini were disqualified following their conviction in separate cases.
While Azam 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.
The outcomes of the bypolls will not have any impact on the central or the state governments as the BJP enjoys a comfortable majority at both levels. However, a win would provide a psychological advantage ahead of the 2024 general elections.
There are six candidates in the fray in Mainpuri, 14 candidates in Khatauli and 10 in Rampur Sadar, according to the Election Commission.
The BJP candidate, who was once a close associate of Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party chief and Akhilesh Yadav’s uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav, joined the saffron party ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls held earlier this year.
The BJP has fielded Akash Saxena, who is the son of former party MLA Shiv Bahadur Saxena, in Rampur Sadar against senior SP leader Azam Khan’s protege Asim Raja.
In Khatauli, the fight is between Vikram Singh Saini’s wife Rajkumari Saini and Madan Bhaiya from the RLD.
The Sardarshahar seat in Rajasthan was held by Congress MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma (77) who passed away on October 9 after a prolonged illness. The Congress has fielded the late Sharma’s son Anil Kumar while former MLA Ashok Kumar is the BJP candidate.
Eight other candidates are in the fray.
“The polling has begun amid tight security arrangements,” a poll official said.
Notably, Khan was disqualified in a hate speech case and the BJP MLA Saini after his conviction and sentence of two-year imprisonment in a 2013 riot case was also disqualified.
“Barbarism being done & people being arrested, beaten up. Police are going to colonies & telling people not to step out to vote. People in one colony locked up their houses and migrated in fear. They are saying it everywhere to not cast votes,” Azam Khan said.
BJP has fielded Rajkumari Saini on the Khatauli seat while Madan Bhaiya is RLD-SP’s candidate. Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party are out of the by-polls race.
In Chhattisgarh, Congress candidate for Bhanupratappur constituency, Savitri Mandavi casts her vote for assembly bypolls.
An anticipated direct contest between Congress and BJP is expected at the Bhanupratappur seat after Congress MLA Manoj Singh Mandavi passed away last month. The Congress has fielded Savitri Mandavi, the wife of the deceased MLA in a bid to retain the seat while BJP has fielded a former MLA. The seat is reserved for Scheduled Tribes.
She said, “Atmosphere is in favour of Congress because our Government has set standards of development. Looking at those works, people are voting for us”.
The counting of votes will take place on December 8.
In other states, the Padampur bypoll of Odisha was also necessitated following the demise of sitting BJD MLA Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha on October 3. BJP fielded Pradip Purohit who is the State BJP Krushak Morcha president was elected to the Odisha Legislative Assembly from Padampur in the 2014 election, however, Purohit lost the 2009 election.
Rajasthan’s Sardarshahar seat goes to polls following the death of Congress MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma after a prolonged illness. His seat will be contested by his son Anil Kumar while BJP has fielded former MLA Ashok Kumar there.
In Bihar’s Kurhani, the disqualification of RJD MLA Anil Kumar Sahani has prompted the polls.
The voting for high voltage byelections will continue till 6 pm.
(With inputs from agencies)

Metroclassify
Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Metroclassify. Publisher: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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