14 By-Elections Across 10 States: Here’s a Look at Top 5 Battles To Keep Track Of
News18 takes a look at the most-watched contests among the 14 Lok Sabha and Assembly by-elections, where counting will be held on May 31.
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New Delhi: Voting is being held across 10 states in four Lok Sabha seats and 10 Assembly constituencies, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) taking on a united opposition in many of these. The parliamentary by-elections are being held in UP’s Kairana, Bhandara-Gondiya and Palghar in Maharashtra and the lone Nagaland seat. The Assembly by-elections are being held in Palus Kadegaon constituency (Maharashtra), Noorpur (Uttar Pradesh), Jokihat (Bihar), Gomia and Silli (Jharkhand), Chengannur (Kerala), Ampati (Meghalaya), Shahkot (Punjab), Tharali (Uttarakhand) and Maheshtala (West Bengal).
News18 takes a look at the most-watched contests, the counting for which will be held on May 31.
Kairana Lok Sabha Bypoll
Kairana constituency in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pardesh has virtually assumed the dimension of a strategic player in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The constituency fell vacant after the death of BJP MP Hukum Singh, whose daughter Mriganka Singh is now the party’s candidate for the bypoll. She is fighting Rashtriya Lok Dal’s (RLD) Tabassum Hasan, who is supported by the Congress, Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
There are nearly 17 lakh voters in the constituency with a significant number of Muslims, Jats and Dalit voters.
Noorpur Assembly Bypoll
The by-elections here were necessitated after the death of BJP MLA Lokendra Singh Chauhan, who died in a road accident on Agra-Lucknow expressway in February this year.
A closely fought contest between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Samajwadi party (SP) is expected in the constituency. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded Avnish Singh. Singh is the wife of former BJP legislator Lokendra Singh Chauhan. The Samajwadi Party has fielded Naim Ul-Hasan while Mayawati’s BSP is not contesting the elections.
Chenganur Assembly Bypoll
Bypolls in this central Kerala constituency is keenly watched by the ruling LDF, opposition UDF and NDA as its outcome is crucial to all three with Lok Sabha elections hardly a year away. It is rare to see a tough triangular fight among LDF, UDF and NDA in Kerala, which is known for its decades-long bipolar politics.
The bypoll was necessitated following the death of sitting MLA KK Ramachandran Nair (CPM) in January this year due to illness.
Winning the seat is significant for the Congress also as it is an opportunity for them to wrest its traditional constituency back from arch rival CPI(M).
While CPI(M)’s Saji Cheriyan, the party’s Alappuzha district secretary, is the candidate of the Left Democratic Front (LDF), Congress leader D Vijayakumar is the United Democratic Front (UDF) nominee. Former BJP president PS Sreedharan Pillai is testing his luck once again from the constituency.
Palghar Lok Sabha Bypoll
The bypoll was necessitated following the death of BJP's Chintaman Wanaga. The BJP's bickering ally Shiv Sena has fielded the late MP's son Srinivas in a bid to garner the sympathy vote. The BJP has put up former Congress minister Rajendra Gavit. The Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA) led by Vasai-Virar strongman Hitendra Thakur is also in the fray with the nomination of its ex-MP Baliram Jadhav. Kiran Raja Gahla of the CPI(M), which has a base in Talasari and Dahanu, and former MP Damu Shingada (Congress) are also contesting in a multi-cornered fight from the seat reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST).
The Sena has accused the BJP of distributing cash to voters. During a rally, Uddhav Thackeray played an audio clip wherein Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis purportedly exhorted party cadre to win the elections "by all means possible." Fadnavis said the audio recording was doctored. The constituency includes extended suburbs of Mumbai such as Vasai, Virar, Nalasopara, and Palghar in the newly-created Palghar district.
Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha Bypoll
In Bhandara-Gondia, the BJP and the NCP have locked horns in the bypoll, being held after the resignation of BJP MP Nana Patole. Patole, a leader of the powerful OBC Kunbi community, had switched side from the Congress to the BJP and was elected as an MP from the constituency in Vidarbha in 2014 by defeating former union minister and NCP heavyweight Praful Patel. The NCP, which has allied with the Congress, has fielded former BJP MLA Madhukar Kukde, against BJP's Hemant Patle, who belongs to the Powar community and is also a former legislator.
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