NEW DELHI: The assembly bypolls in Bihar and Maharashtra, scheduled for November 3, are set to be the first electoral test of the popularity of the respective state governments after a change in the political alignment.
The BJP and Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena are pitted against each other for the Andheri East assembly seat, the first test of a popular mandate after Eknath Shinde led a rebellion within the Shiv Sena to topple the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government in the state.
Shinde succeeded Thackeray as Maharashtra Chief Minister after getting support of 40 of the Shiv Sena’s 55 MLAs.
The BJP has fielded Murji Patel against Thackeray faction candidate Rutuja Latke in the bypoll that has seen opposition parties – Congress, NCP and the Left joining hands against the BJP.
The bypoll was necessitated due to the death of sitting Sena MLA Ramesh Latke.
In Bihar, the assembly bypolls of Mokama and Gopalganj are the first electoral test for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who dumped the pre-poll alliance partner BJP to form the government again with support from Lalu Prasad-led RJD.
The Mokama seat fell vacant after the disqualification of sitting RJD MLA and local strongman Anant Singh due to a conviction in a criminal case, while the Gopalganj elections were necessitated due to the death of sitting BJP MLA Subhash Singh.
In Mokama, the RJD has fielded Anant Singh’s wife Neelam Devi, while the BJP has given the party ticket to Sonam Devi, the wife of another strongman Lallan Singh.
In Gopalganj, the BJP has fielded Kusum Devi, the widow of Subhash Singh against Mohan Gupta of the RJD and Indira Yadav of the BSP. Indira Yadav is the wife of Sadhu Yadav, the brother-in-law of RJD founder Lalu Prasad.
In Telangana, the BJP’s spirited campaign against Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao will be put to test in the Munogode assembly bypoll, which was necessitated due to the resignation of Congress MLA K Rajagopal Reddy.
Rajagopal Reddy is in the fray as the BJP candidate and is pitted against TRS candidate K Prabhakar Reddy and Congress nominee Palavai Sravanthi Reddy.
The BJP has been eyeing Telangana as the second southern state to expand its footprint after Karnataka and the bypoll is being held just over an year before the assembly elections due in the state.
In Uttar Pradesh, the bypoll for the Gola Gokarnnath assembly seat is a direct contest between the BJP and the SP.The bypoll, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of sitting BJP MLA Arvind Giri, is being held in the aftermath of the death of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.
The BJP has fielded Giri’s son Aman against Vinay Tiwari of the SP. The BSP and Congress have not fielded any candidate.
The Adampur bypoll in Haryana has emerged as a contest among party hoppers.
The bypoll was necessitated due to the resignation of sitting Congress MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi, who joined the BJP. Bishnoi’s son Bhavya is the BJP candidate and Congress has fielded Jai Prakash, who began his political career with the Lok Dal and served as a minister in Prime Minister Chandrashekhar’s council of ministers.
He later switched to Bansi Lal’s Haryana Vikas Party, which sent him to the Lok Sabha.
Jai Prakash founded his own outfit Haryana Gana Parishad and joined the Congress in 2000 only to quit in 2014 and contest the elections as an Independent. He returned to the Congress fold in 2019.
AAP candidate Satender Singh was earlier with the BJP, while INLD nominee Kurda Ram Nambardar quit the Congress earlier this week.
In Odisha, the Dhamnagar Assembly seat is witnessing a triangular contest with Suryavanshi Suraj Sthitaprajna of the BJP, Abanti Das of the BJD and Harekrushna Sethi of the Congress in the fray.
The seat fell vacant due to the death of BJP MLA Bishnu Sethi and his son Suryavanshi is in the fray on the BJP ticket.
Source: Press Trust of India