New Delhi, May 31: The results of by-elections to four Lok Sabha seats and 10 assembly constituencies will be declared on Thursday. The counting will start at 8 AM and a clear picture is likely to emerge around noon. While the Bharatiya Janata Party would want to show that it is a formidable force in the states, this by-poll would also be a litmus test of the unity of the Opposition which came together just to oust the saffron party. Also Read - Delhi Police EOW Files Cheating Case Against DSGMC President Manjinder Singh Sirsa
The Lok Sabha seats which went for polls on May 28 were: Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya in Maharashtra; Kairana in Uttar Pradesh and Nagaland parliamentary constituency. Also Read - NCB Sends Notice to Karan Johar 3 Months After Manjinder Singh Sirsa's Complaint Over Alleged Drug Party Video
Elections were necessitated in Kairana after the seat fell vacant in February following the death of BJP leader Hukum Singh. While in Maharashtra’s Palghar election was necessitated after the demise of BJP MP Chintaman Wanga in January. In Bhandara-Gondiya the bye-election was necessitated when BJP’s sitting MP Nana Patole quit the party to join the Congress in December last year. Notably, these by-polls hold extreme significance for the BJP as it held three of the four Lok Sabha seats: Kairana, Palghar and Bhandara-Gondia. Also Read - Months After SAD Broke Ties With NDA, Centre Withdraws Z-plus Security of Akali Leader
Meanwhile, in Nagaland Neiphiu Rio of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) was the representative of the lone Lok Sabha constituency in Nagaland. Rio, who represented this constituency, quit in February to contest in the assembly election. Rio is the chief minister of Nagaland.
The Assembly seats which went to polls on May 28 were: Shahkot (Punjab), Tharali (Uttarakhand), Ampati (Meghalaya), Chengannur (Kerala), Jokihat (Bihar), Gomia (Jharkhand), Silli (Jharkhand), Maheshtala (West Bengal), Noorpur (Uttar Pradesh), Palus Kadegaon (Maharashtra).
Shahkot assembly seat fell vacant following the death of sitting Akali Dal legislator Ajit Singh Kohar in February this year. Kohar, a former minister, was elected five times from this seat. While the main contest is between the ruling Congress and opposition Shiromani Akali Dal, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has made it a three-cornered contest by fielding its candidate.
The by-poll in Tharali seat of Uttarakhand was necessitated after the death of the BJP MLA Magan Lal Shah in February. While in Ampati, elections were held after Former Meghalaya Chief Minister and Congress MLA Mukul Sangma resigned from the seat in March.
On the other hand, Chengannur seat fell vacant after the death of Communist Party of India (Marxist) sitting MLA K.K. Ramachandran Nair in January.
The by-poll in Gomia Assembly was necessitated after the sitting MLA Yogendra Prasad Mahto of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) was expelled from the assembly after he was convicted in a coal theft case. In Jharkhand’s Silli the sitting MLA, Amit Mahto, of the JMM was convicted in a criminal assault case in March following which the seat fell vacant.
The Maheshtala seat was held by Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA Kasturi Das until his death in February. He too had represented this constituency twice. The seat of Noorpur in Uttar Pradesh fell vacant after the death of sitting BJP MLA Lokendra Singh Chouhan. The by-poll in Palus-Kadegaon Assembly constituency was necessitated after the demise of Congress’s Patangrao Kadam.
Notably, voting was held on May 28, amid reports of malfunctioning of EVM-VVPATs. The Election Commission (EC) ordered re-polling at 49 booths in Bhandara-Gondia and 73 booths of Kairana even as it insisted that reports of large-scale failure of EVMs were an “exaggerated projection of reality”.