By-elections to three Lok Sabha are taking place today, along with 29 assembly seats across 11 states. The seats where Lok Sabha bye-elections will be held are Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Mandi in Himachal Pradesh and Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh. Of the 29 assembly constituencies going to the bypolls, five are 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.
Though today’s bypolls aren’t expected to have any major bearing on the stability of governments, it will be crucial tests for several leaders and some Chief Ministers. The counting of votes will take place on November 2 and all eyes will be on key battles in Bihar, Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Telangana.
In the three Lok Sabha constituencies going to polls today, the sitting members had died. The Mandi seat fell vacant after the death of Ramswaroop Sharma (BJP) in March. The bye-election to the Khandwa parliamentary constituency was necessitated following the death of BJP member Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan while in Dadra and Nagar Haveli, it was due to the demise of Independent Lok Sabha member Mohan Delkar.
Four assembly constituencies in West Bengal will go to the bypolls with all eyes set on Dinhata where TMC heavyweight Udayan Guha is looking to reclaim the seat, which the BJP had snatched from him by a whisker in the April elections. The bypoll to Dinhata was necessitated following the resignation of Nisith Pramanik, now Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, as he chose to retain his Lok Sabha membership. The other three seats where polling will be held are Santipur in Nadia district, Khardah in North 24 Parganas and Gosaba in South 24 Parganas. In Santipur, too, BJP MP Jagannath Sarkar resigned from the assembly, thus calling for a bypoll.
In Madhya Pradesh, bypolls will be held for the Khandwa Lok Sabha constituency and Jobat (ST), Raigaon (SC) and Prithvipur assembly seats. Bye-elections in Rajasthan’s Vallabhnagar and Dhariawad are being viewed as a significant test for the performance of the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government.
With inputs from News18