New Delhi: By-elections to four Lok Sabha and 10 Assembly seats are taking place on Monday. The voting is started since early morning by 7 a.m.
By-elections to 10 Assembly constituencies and four Lok Sabha seats across 10 states are taking place on 28 May.
The Lok Sabha seats which will go for polls include Kairana in Uttar Pradesh, Palghar, and Bhandara-Gondiya in Maharashtra and the sole parliamentary constituency in Nagaland.
There will also be Assembly by-elections taking place in Noorpur (Uttar Pradesh), Shahkot (Punjab), Jokihat (Bihar), Gomia and Silli (Jharkhand), Chengannur (Kerala), Palus Kadegaon (Maharashtra), Ampati (Meghalaya), Tharali (Uttarakhand) and Maheshtala (West Bengal).
Counting for all the seats will take place on 31 May.
Kairana and Noorpur by-elections
The contest in Kairana will be watched with considerable interest because BJP is fielding Mriganka Singh, daughter of the sitting MP Hukum Singh whose death necessitated the by-election. Mriganka had unsuccessfully contested Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in 2017 from Kairana where she was defeated by Nahid Hasan, son of former MP, the late Munawar Hasan, by over 21,000 votes.
Bypolls to the Noorpur Assembly seat was necessitated due to the death of sitting BJP MLA Lokendra Singh Chauhan in a road accident in February.
Like Kairana, the Bhandara-Gondiya and Palghar Lok Sabha seats are also going to be a prestige battle for BJP, as these seats were previously being held by the BJP.
Interestingly, Congress is likely to win the by-election in Palus-Kadegaon Assembly seat uncontested, with Election Commission showing Congress candidate Kadam Vishwajeet Patangrao as the lone candidate.
Candidates from other parties, including the BJP’s candidate, had their nomination either rejected or withdrawn.
The by-election to the sole parliamentary seat in Nagaland will be a straight contest between Tokheho Yepthomi of the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and C Apok Jamir of the Naga People’s Front (NPF).
The by-election was necessitated after NDPP’s Neiphiu Rio resigned to take on the role of Nagaland chief minister in March this year as part of the People’s Democratic Alliance government.
Meghalaya: Among them include the Ampat Assembly constituency in Meghalaya, which former chief minister Mukul Sangma had won in March. Sangma had contested and won two seats — Ampati and Songsak — and decided to retain the latter.
Jharkhand: Two Assembly constituencies — Sillia and Gomia — will witness polling in Jharkhand. There are 23 candidates in fray in the two Assembly constituencies with alliance partners AJSU and BJP locking horns in Gomia.
Punjab: The Shahkot by-election was necessitated following the death of SAD MLA Ajit Singh Kohar.
On the one hand, Apna Punjab Party district president Jagtar Singh Chandi and his supporters joined the Congress, while the Aam Aadmi Party saw three of its leaders joining SAD.
Bihar: Part of the Araria Lok Sabha constituency, where RJD registered a thumping win in March this year, Jokihat will be an all-out contest between Janata Dal (United) and Rashtriya Janata Dal. There are nine candidates in all including late Taslimuddin’s son Shahnawaz Alam, who is contesting on an RJD ticket, and JD(U) candidate Murshid Alam. Also in the fray is Pappu Yadav’s Jan Adhikar Party (Loktantrik) candidate Gousul Azam.
Kerala: The by-election will be contested between a large number of candidates. Though confident of winning Chengannur, CPM’s Saji Cheriyan is likely to face tough competition from Congress’ D Vijaykumar and BJP’s PS Sreedharan Pillai, as well as candidates from Rashtriya Lok Dal, Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist), Aam Aadmi Party, Ambedkarite Party of India and 10 Independent candidates.
Uttarakhand: Though there are five candidates in the fray, the Tharali Assembly by-election is likely to be a straight contest between BJP and Congress. BJP has fielded late Mangal Shah’s wife Munni Devi Shah while Congress has fielded professor Jeet Ram.
West Bengal: The Mahesthala by-election has emerged a tight three-way contest between TMC, BJP, and the Congress-CPM alliance, with each candidate wooing voters. TMC has fielded Dulal Chandra Das, husband of MLA Kasturi Das who passed away in February, while CPM has gone with Pravat Chowdhury. The BJP has put up Sujit Kumar Ghosh.
Polls also being held in RR Nagar (Karnataka)
Also going for polls on Monday is the Rajrajeswari Nagar Assembly seat in Karnataka, the election for which was suspended following the recovery of nearly 10,000 voter ID cards from a flat in the constituency.