Bypolls underway in 7 constituencies of 6 states; Telangana tense
Bypolls are underway in seven constituencies of Bihar, Haryana, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh on Thursday for electing legislators to the state Assembly. The elections in Bihar and Telangana are said to be the ones watched most closely where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is contesting regional parties. The polling will continue till 6 pm and votes will be counted on Sunday.
Sitting MLA resigned, shifted to BJP, contesting back from BJP
Polling is underway in Munugode constituency of Nalgonda district. Telangana's ruling party Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) earlier accused the BJP of trying to poach its MLAs with bounteous cash. The bypoll was announced after the sitting Congress MLA Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy resigned and joined BJP. Reddy is now contesting the election from BJP against TRS's Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy and Palvai Sravanthi of Congress.
CCTVs webcasting polling to all police stations
As many as 48 CCTV cameras are placed and the polling is webcasted to 298 police stations apart from the district's central police control room. In the run-up to the polls, Rs. 8 crore cash and 5,000 liter liquor was seized.
BJP Telangana president in preventive custody
BJP's Telangana unit president, Sanjay Bandi was taken into preventive custody in the wee hours of Thursday after stopping his convoy headed to Munugode. Earlier, the TRS — recently renamed Bharat Rashtra Samiti — had sought Reddy's disqualification alleging that he switched over to the BJP from Congress after getting a coal mining contract worth Rs. 18,000 crore from the Centre.
Litmus test for Grand Alliance
The Mahagathbandhan government of Bihar will see its first election since CM Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) (JDU) broke away from the BJP and joined hands with Tejashwi Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress and Left parties to form a coalition government. The bye-elections are being conducted in Mokama and Gopalganj constituencies which were earlier held by RJD and BJP respectively.
Son on BJP ticket after father defected from Congress
Adampur constituency in Hisar is witnessing polls which is the stronghold of former CM Bhajan Lal's family for five decades. The bye-election was announced after Lal's son and sitting MLA, Kuldeep Bishnoi resigned, switching over to the BJP from Congress. Bishnoi's son Bhavya is contesting the seat on a BJP ticket against Jai Prakash of Congress, former Union minister, three-time MP, and two-time MLA.
Contest between BJP and SP
Polling is underway at the Gola Gokarannath constituency in Lakhimpur Kheri district of UP. The bypoll was announced in the constituency after sitting MLA Arvind Giri of BJP died of a heart attack. Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress aren't contesting the bye-election, which leaves the competition between the BJP and Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party (SP).
Sitting MLA's son fighting against ruling BJD
Similarly, the bypoll in Dhamnagar constituency of Odisha was announced after the sitting MLA, Bishnu Charan Sethi of BJP died due to kidney failure. The BJP is looking to retain the seat as it has nominated Sethi's son Suryabanshi Suraj against Abanti Das of the ruling party Biju Janata Dal (BJD). Since 2019, the BJD has won all elections under the constituency.
Shiv Sena (Uddhav) expected to win breezily
Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thakre) is expected to breeze past the post in Mumbai's Andheri East constituency. The BJP earlier withdrew its challenge to Sena after the latter's request. This will be Sena's first election since the party's bifurcation. The nomination phase witnessed drama over Sena's name and symbol with CM Eknath Shinde's faction laying claim to the party's name despite not contesting.