Battle of prestige: Bypolls begin in UP, 4 other states
The stakes are high in the bypolls, which began on Monday in five states for six assembly constituencies and a parliamentary seat. Elections are held under high security, with election authorities making significant preparations. The bypolls are being held in Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Bihar, and Chhattisgarh with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) contesting a direct battle in UP.
Why does this story matter?
- The bypolls are held with Gujarat elections and ahead of many crucial assembly elections next year.
- It is believed that the result of these elections would set the tone for main elections and have ramifications on national politics.
- In Uttar Pradesh, there is a direct battle between BJP and SP making it a high-stakes election.
In UP, victory in bypolls means a 'psychological' boost
The bypoll for the UP's Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat is being held due to the death of SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav. However, in Rampur Sadar and Khatauli bypolls were announced following the disqualification of SP MLA Azam Khan and BJP MLA Vikram Singh Saini. Notably, a victory in these byelections would offer a psychological boost ahead of the general election in 2024.
Deceased MLA's son to fight-out with BJP in Rajasthan
The Sardarshahar seat in Rajasthan became vacant after Congress MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma (77) passed away of illness in October. His son Anil Kumar has now been nominated by the Congress to fight a direct battle with BJP candidate and former MLA Ashok Kumar. There are five independent candidates and three from the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP), CPI (M), and Indian People's Green Party.
Outcome for Padampur seat critical for BJD in Odisha
The death of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) member Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha prompted a by-election to the Padampur seat in Odisha. The bypoll is crucial after the BJD's received a setback with a loss in Dhamnagar. Now, political circles believe that the outcome would make position week for the Naveen Patnaik-led party ahead of the state elections in 2024.
Congress and BJP head-on contest in Bhanupratapur, Chattisgarh
Following the death of Congress MLA Manoj Singh Mandavi last month, a bypoll to the Bhanupratappur seat, which is reserved for Scheduled Tribes, was called. Despite the fact that seven candidates are running, the race is mostly between the ruling Congress and the BJP. The Congress has nominated Savitri Mandavi, the dead MLA's widow, while the BJP has nominated former MLA Brahmanand Netam.
A litmus test for Nitish Kumar in Bihar
In Bihar, the RJD MLA Anil Kumar Sahani's disqualification forced a by-election for the Kurhani assembly seat. JD(U) is running for the position with former MLA Manoj Singh Kushwaha. His victory may strengthen Nitish Kumar's position, while defeat might give his opponents more ammunition. There are 13 candidates in the fray for the Kurhani assembly segment.