All You Need to Know About 28 May Bypolls in 10 Constituencies
Ten assembly seats will go to bypolls in 9 different states on 28 May.
After a bitter battle between the Congress and the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka, 10 assembly seats will go to bypolls in 9 different states on 28 May. Even though political analysts warn against reading too much into the bypoll results, the country can't help, but look forward to these elections as a prelude to the big 2019 Lok Sabha contest.
Noorpur (Uttar Pradesh)
Following the demise of BJP MLA Lokendra Singh Chauhan in a road accident, the Noorpur seat fell vacant. Besides the Kairana Lok Sabha constituency, Noorpur is another assembly seat in which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will face-off with the Samajwadi Party (SP). Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is not participating in the bypolls, and it is still not clear if the BSP will lend support to SP.
Shahkot constituency in Punjab fell vacant when the sitting SAD MLA Ajit Singh Kohar died of heart failure in February 2018. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which had emerged as the runners-up to Congress in 2017, has campaigned aggressively for its candidate Rattan Singh Kakkarkalan.
The AAP campaign, led by AAP MP Bhagwant Mann, is said to have received a lukewarm response, according to a Hindustan Times report. The AAP has suffered many a setback in the state after Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tendered an apology to Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia. Some of the state leaders were disappointed with Kejriwal's decision and switched to either AAP or Congress.
In what is being seen by many as a test of Nitish Kumar's popularity in the state after he walked away from the mahagathbandhan in 2017, the chief minister and half of his cabinet have campaigned for Janata Dal United's (JDU) candidate Murshid Alam. According to an NDTV report, Alam has seven criminal cases, including a gangrape case, against him.
JD(U) legislator Sarfaraz Alam had quit the party after Nitish decided to part ways with Lalu's RJD, necessitating a by-election to the assembly seat.
Gomia and Silli (Jharkhand)
Two assembly seats, Gomia and Silli, in Jharkhand will go to polls on 28 May. In Gomia, the ruling national democratic alliance partners – the BJP and the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) are fighting separately, IANS reported.
In Silli, there is a direct fight between JMM candidate Seema Mahto and AJSU president Sudesh Mahto. Seema Mahto is the wife of Amit Mahto, who lost his assembly seat after being convicted and awarded a jail term.
Sitting CPI(M) MLA KK Ramachandran Nair's demise necessitated the by-election to the Kerala constituency. Even though a result against the CPI(M)-led Left government will not change the composition of the assembly, the bypoll is being seen as a test of the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government’s two years in power.
Palus Kadegaon (Maharashtra)
Congress nominee Vishwakeet Kadam's election from Palus Kadegaon Assembly seat in the by-poll scheduled later this month is a mere formality as the main rival BJP has withdrawn from the race. The by-poll, scheduled on 28 May, was necessitated because of the death of sitting Congress MLA and former minister Patangrao Kadam.
The Congress has fielded his son Vishwajeet Kadam from the seat, PTI reported.
Ampati (Meghalaya), Tharali (Uttarakhand) & Maheshtala (West Bengal)
Bypolls will also be held in Meghalaya's Ampati, Uttarakhand's Tharali and West Bengal's Maheshrtala constituencies on 28 May. Ampati is considered to be a Congress stronghold where the party has fielded Mukul Sangama's daughter Miani Shira against the National People's Party's Clement Momin.
Uttarakhand's Tharali seat fell vacant after fell vacant after BJP MLA Maganlal Shah succumbed to swine flu in February 2018, according to The Times of India. Uttarakhand had voted the BJP to power in the assembly election last year.
In West Bengal's 24 Parganas district, the Maheshtala seat fell vacant after the two-time TMC MLA Kasturi Das dies in February this year. The Congress has decided to extend support to CPI(M) candidate for the 28 May by-poll to Maheshtala Assembly seat in West Bengal, sparking speculation that the two parties might be coming closer to each other.
The two parties had forged a coalition in Bengal for the 2016 assembly elections but parted ways after the CPI(M) central committee said the alliance was “not in consonance with the party line adopted in 2015”, according to PTI.
The bypoll results for assembly elections will be declared 31 May.
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