New Delhi, May 28: Polling for a by-election to four Lok Sabha seats and 10 Assembly constituencies spread across 10 states will be held today. The Lok Sabha seats that will go to bypolls include Kairana in Uttar Pradesh, Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya in Maharashtra and the lone seat in Nagaland. By-elections will also be held for 10 assembly seats in nine states — Noorpur (Uttar Pradesh), Jokihat (Bihar), Tharali (Uttarakhand), Gomia and Silli (Jharkhand), Maheshtala (West Bengal), Ampati (Meghalaya), Palus Kadegaon (Maharashtra), Shahkot (Punjab) and Chengannur (Kerala). Also Read - Urmila Matondkar to Join Shiv Sena on Tuesday, Year After Quitting Congress
All eyes will be on Kairana bypoll where the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is facing a tough challenge from the combined opposition. Kairana Lok Sabha seat fell vacant in February after the death of BJP leader Hukum Singh. The BJP has fielded Mriganka Singh, daughter of Singh, from this seat. Mriganka took on Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) nominee Tabassum Hasan, who has been backed by the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Congress and Nishad Party. Kairana bypoll is being seen as the first major test of opposition’s unity against the BJP after its show of strength during H D Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in ceremony. Also Read - Coronavirus: Maharashtra Extends Lockdown Restrictions Till Dec 31, Essential Services Allowed
Noorpur Assembly seat in Uttar Pradesh will also go to polls today. This seat fell vacant after the death of BJP sitting MLA Lokendra Singh Chouhan. The BJP fielded Avnish Singh who will take on SP’s Naim Ul-Hasan. Also in the fray are Lok Dal’s Gohar Iqbal, Rashtriya Janhit Sangharsh Party’s Zaheer Alam, Bharatiya Momin Front’s Maya, Uttar Pradesh Republican Party’s Ram Ratan, and four Independent candidates. Also Read - Defying Odds, 34-Year-Old Differently-Abled Woman Becomes Sarpanch of 2 Maharashtra Villages
In Maharashtra, Palghar Lok Sabha seat fell vacant after sitting BJP MP Chintaman Vanga died in January following a heart attack. Shiv Sena has fielded the late BJP MP’s son Srinivas Chintaman Vanga from the seat. Shrinivas will be facing BJP’s Gavit Rajendra Dhedya and Congress’s Damodar Barku Shingada.
In Bhandara-Gondiya parliamentary seat, where the by-election was necessitated when BJP’s sitting MP Nana Patole quit the party to join the Congress in December last year, the contest is between Hemant Patle of the BJP and Madhukar Kukde of the NCP. Shiv Sena and Congress didn’t field their candidate. Bypolls will also be held in Palus-Kadegaon Assembly constituency. The seat fell vacant after the death of veteran Congress leader and ex-minister Patangrao Kadam on March 9.
The by-poll to the sole parliamentary seat in Nagaland witnessed a tough contest between the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) candidate Tokheho Yepthomi and C Apok Jamir of the Naga People’s Front (NPF). The seat fell vacant after NDPP’s Neiphiu Rio quit in February to contest in the assembly election. Rio is the Chief Minister of the state now. For Ampati Assembly constituency in Meghalaya, there are only three candidates in the fray including NPP’s Clement G Momin, Congress’ Miami D Shira, and Independent candidate Subhankar Koch.
Two Assembly constituencies — Sillia and Gomia — will go to polls in Jharkhand today. There are 23 candidates in the fray with alliance partners AJSU and BJP locking horns in Gomia. The seat will see BJP’s Madhav Lal Singh up against AJSU’s Lambodar Mahto and JMM’s Umesh Kumar Mahto. In Silli, AJSU has fielded its candidate Sudesh Kumar Mahto against RJD’s Jyoti Prasad.
In Punjab, Shahkot Assembly seat will witness a triangular contest between the ruling Congress, Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The seat fell vacant following the death of sitting Akali Dal legislator Ajit Singh Kohar in February this year. Chengannur Assembly bypoll in Kerala is a contest between CPM’s Saji Cheriyan, Congress’ D Vijaykumar, and BJP’s PS Sreedharan Pillai. Bypoll on Chengannur seat was necessitated after the death of CPM legislator KK Ramachandran Nair in January.
There are five candidates in the fray for Tharali Assembly seat in Uttarakhand. The BJP and Congress locked in a straight contest on the reserved (SC) seat as the former has fielded late Mangal Shah’s wife Munni Devi Shah while the latter fielded Professor Jeet Ram. Bypolls here were necessitated after the death of Mangal Shah in February this year. In West Bengal, bypoll to Mahesthala Assembly seat will see a three-way contest between TMC, BJP, and the Congress-CPM alliance. TMC has fielded Dulal Chandra Das, husband of MLA Kasturi Das who passed away in February, while CPM has gone with Pravat Chowdhury. The BJP has fielded Sujit Kumar Ghosh.