By-Elections of two Lok Sabha seats including Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh and Belgaum in Karnataka along with 13 Assembly Constituencies spread over ten states tomorrow.
The ACs going in for the By-Polls simultaneously with the Fifth Phase of ongoing Assembly Elections in West Bengal include three in Rajasthan, two in Karnataka and one each in Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Odisha, Telangana and Uttarakhand. There are 161 candidates in the fray for 13 Assembly seats indicating largely multi-cornered contests. Meanwhile, H. Chuba Chang was declared elected unopposed being the only candidate in fray for the Noksen Assembly seat in Nagaland.
In Andhra Pradesh, there are 28 candidates vying for the Tirupati Lok Sabha Seat. Former Union Minister Dr. Panabaka Lakshmi is the Telugu Desham Party candidate while Chinta Mohan from Congress, K. Ratnaprabha from BJP and Nellore Yadgiri from CPI (M) are among the prominent candidates.
In Karnataka, there are 10 candidates contesting for the Belgaum Lok Sabha seat. BJP has fielded Mangala Angadi, the widow of late Union Minister Suresh Angadi from the seat while Congress has fielded State Working President Satish Jarkiholi against her. Satish Jarkiholi is the sitting MLA from Yamkanmaradi. As far as the Assembly By-Polls are concerned, 12 candidates are vying in Basavakalyan and eight are contesting in Maski Constituency.
In Madhya Pradesh, there are 22 candidates including 16 independents contesting for Damoh Assembly seat. Ruling BJP has fielded Rahul Singh Lodhi while Congress has put up Ajay Kumar Tandon in the contest.
In Maharashtra, total 19 candidates including 10 independents are in fray for Pandharpur Assembly seat. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has fielded Bhagirath Bhalke, son of its three-term legislator Bharat Bhalke, as its candidate while BJP has fielded Samadhan Autade in the electoral battle which is marked by the presence of representatives of several other political parties as well.
In Odisha, ruling Biju Janata Dal has put up Rudra Pratap Maharathy, son of late MLA Pradeep Maharathy in By-Poll for the Pipili Assembly seat. BJP has fielded Ashrit Pattanayak and Congress has Ajit Mangaraj while there are seven other candidates including three independents.
In Rajasthan, ten candidates are contesting in Rajsamand while nine candidates are in fray for Sujangarh and eight are there in Sahara Assembly Constituency.
In Telangana, electioneering will come to an end this evening in Nagarjunasagar Assembly constituency, where a by-poll is scheduled on 17th of this month. The bye-election has become crucial for all major political parties in the state including the ruling TRS, Congress and the BJP while top leaders of these parties held campaigning in favour of their candidates.
The bye-election was necessitated due to the sudden demise of the sitting TRS member N. Narasimhaiah. Total 41 candidates are in the fray seeking election for the State Assembly from Nagarjunasagar constituency. All major political parties took the bye-election prestigious as the outcome will have potential bearing on the state political arena.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao held public meetings twice in the constituency while more than half of his Cabinet Ministers held electioneering in the nook and corner of the constituency. Aiming to retain the seat, the ruling TRS pitched Nomula Bhagat, son of the slain TRS leader. Top Leaders of the State BJP, including Union Minister of state for Home G Kishan Reddy have campaigned for party Candidate, Dr Panugothu Ravi Kumar. BJP also released a manifesto for Nagarjunasagar constituency in Nalgonda district, assuring people to resolve long standing issues.
Congress leaders including the AICC in-charge Manikam Thagore and Party MPs along with senior leaders crisscrossed the constituency seeking votes in support of the party candidate K Janareddy, a former Minister in undivided Andhra Pradesh and a seven time-MLA.
He lost the election in 2018 to Nomula Narsimhaiah who joined the TRS from CPI-M. Besides, MIM fielded a woman candidate and 37 other candidates are also in the fray trying to woo support of electors.
Over 2 lakh 17 thousand electors likely to exercise their franchise at over 340 polling stations on 17th of this month. The office of the Telangana Chief Electoral Officer is making elaborate arrangements for the by-poll.
In the poll-bound West Bengal, the high-decibel electioneering campaign for the Fifth Phase of Assembly Elections concluded last evening. The polling process is already over in respect of 135 out of total 294 Assembly seats in the earlier four phases. The state is witnessing eight-phase elections. During the Fifth Phase of State Assembly Elections, 45 Assembly seats spread over six districts of West Bengal will go to polls on 17th of April.
The Election Commission decided to increase the Silent Period of the campaign for this phase by 24 hours and as a result, the campaign ended a day before its scheduled closure. This decision was taken after the mob storming and firing incident at Polling Station No. 126 in Sitalkuchi Assembly Constituency in Cooch Behar district during the Fourth Phase of polling on last Saturday.
In all, 319 candidates including 39 women will be vying for the 45 Assembly seats spread over six districts during the Fifth Phase. Over 1.12 crore voters including 55.80 lakh women and 234 Third Gender persons will decide the fate of these candidates. Total 15,789 Polling Stations have been set up for this purpose.
Bharatiya Janata Party is contesting for all the 45 seats while ruling AITC is contesting 42 seats. Congress, Left parties and their alliance partner Indian Secular Front are fighting under the banner of Sanyukta Morcha. BSP has fielded 32 candidates, CPI (M) has 25, Congress – 11, AIFB – two, RSP, NPP and CPI one each while there are 83 independents along with 76 others are also in the fray.
The prominent candidates participating in this phase include State Ministers Goutam Deb from Dabgram-Fulbari, Tapas Roy from Baranagar, Bratya Basu from Dumdum and Siddiqullah Chowdhury from Monteswar along with Sujit Bose and former Mayor and BJP candidate Sabyasachi Dutta from Bidhanagar seat.
AITC Chief Whip Nirmal Ghosh from Panihati, Former Ministers Madan Mitra from Kamarhati, Bankim Chandra Ghosh from Chakdaha and Asoke Bhattachrya from Siliguri, Congress leader Sukhbilash Berma from Jalpaiguri, BJP leader Shamik Bhattachrya and singer and AITC candidate Aditi Munshi from Rajarhat-Gopalpur are also in the fray.
Besides, sitting BJP MP Jagannath Sarkar from Shantipur, former MP Dr. Tapas Mondal from Krishnaganj and former CPI (M) MP Alakesh Das from Haringhata along with actor Chiranjeet Chakrobarty from Barasat are also trying their luck.
Meanwhile, the election campaign is gaining momentum in respect of the Sixth Phase with the prominent leaders of different political parties engaging in whirlwind tours for canvassing in favour of their candidates. In all, 43 Assembly Constituencies spread over four districts of West Bengal will go to polls in this phase on 22nd of April.
The campaign has also picked up now for the Seventh as well as the Eighth and Final Phase of the Assembly Elections in West Bengal. In all, 36 Assembly Constituencies spread over five districts will go to polls in the Seventh Phase on 26th of April while remaining 35 Assembly Constituencies spread over four districts will go to polls in the Eighth Phase on 29th of April. The counting of votes will be taken up together on 2nd of May.