Voting has begun for bypolls to two Lok Sabha and 51 Assembly seats spread over in 17 States. The two Lok Sabha seats where by-polls are taking place are Samastipur in Bihar and Satara in Maharashtra.
Assembly constituencies for which bypolls are being held are 11 seats of Uttar Pradesh, 6 in Gujarat, 5 seats each in Kerala and Bihar, 3 in Sikkim, 4 each of Punjab and Assam, 2 each of Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh and one seat each in Odisha, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Meghalaya, Pudducherry and Arunachal Pradesh.
In Bihar, amidst tight security arrangements by-polling is underway in five assembly seats and Samastipur Parliamentary constituency. The assembly constituencies where by-polls are being held are Kishanganj, Daraunda, Belhar, Nathnagar and Simri Bakhatiarpur. Over 32 lakh voters will decide electoral fortune of 51 candidates. 43 of them are for the five assembly seats and eight for Samastipur Lok Sabha constituency. 3,258 booths have been made for polls. Live webcasting is being done at 52 booths. Inter- district border has sealed and patrolling has been intensified to make trouble free polls. JD(U) and RJD are contesting on four seats each. BJP and Congress are fighting from Kishanganj assembly constituency. LJP and Congress are contesting on Samastipur Lok Sabha seat.
Moreover polling has just begun for the by-election for Huzurnagar Assembly Constituency in Telangana. Over 2 lakh 36 thousand electros are likely to utilise their franchise at 302 polling stations. The by-election was necessitated after PCC President Uttam Kumar Reddy resigned after his election to Nalgonda Lok Sabha Constituency. Total 28 contestants including TRS, Congress, BJP and TDP candidates are in the fray. The ruling Telangana Rastra Samithi (TRS) fielded Saidi Reddy who got defeated over 7000 votes during the Assembly elections held in December last year. The ruling party is keen to wrest the seat from the Congress as the by-election is the first one after the General Elections and considered to be an acid test for the ruling party in the wake of the ongoing RTC workers strike for the past 16 days. Congress is also trying hard to retain its seat and fielded Padmavati Reddy, wife of the PCC president.
In Meghalaya, polling for the by-election to the Shella assembly constituency began this morning and will conclude at 5 PM. Altogether there are 58 polling booths in the constituency. The assembly constituency has 29,582 voters with 14,844 females and 14,698 males.
Altogether six candidates are contesting for the Shella Assembly seat which include; United Democratic Party (UDP) candidate Balajied Kupar Synrem, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Joshua Warjri, Batyngshain Laitmon Ryngnga for the Congress, People’s Democratic Front (PDF) candidate Mosjo Rockfeller Wanswett and two independent candidates: Grace Mary Kharpuri and Komen Laitmon. The by-poll was necessitated following the sudden demise of Assembly speaker Donkupar Roy on July 28 this year. Counting will be held on the 24th of this month.
The bye-election to Khonsa West Assembly constituency in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh is underway amidst tight security. The polling which started at 7 AM will continue till 2 pm. The bye-election is witnessing a straight fight between two independent candidates Chakat Aboh and Azet Hamtok.
State Deputy CEO Liken Koyu has informed that 24 CAPFs have been deployed across the constituency for free and peaceful conduct of the polling. The Khonsa West Assembly seat has 23 polling stations with 10,185 electorates, including 5,226 women voters. Kheti village polling station has the highest number of electorates, 895, while Upper Chinhan village polling booth has the least number of voters, 86.
The candidature of Smt. Chakat Aboh, the wife of slain National People’s Party leader Tirong Aboh, is supported by five major political parties, including ruling BJP and opposition Congress, for the bye-polls. The bye-election to the Khonsa West seat was necessitated after Tirong Aboh, who contested the April 11 Assembly election as NPP nominee and got re-elected from the said seat, was gunned down by suspected NSCN militants in Tirap district on May 21, two days ahead of polls results.
In Gujarat, the Voting for the by-polls to six assembly constituencies has begun. The voting will continue till 6 pm and counting of votes will be held on 24th October. Total 42 candidates are in fray for six assembly seats on which the main contest is between ruling BJP and opposition Congress party. Election Commission has made elaborate arrangement for free and fair polling including security arrangements. About 14.76 lakh voters will able to cast their votes during the today's polling of six assembly constituencies. Election Commission has set up 1781 polling booths in poll bound constituencies. Six constituencies where polling is being held are Tharad, Radhanpur, Kheralu, Bayad, Amraiwadi and Lunawada. AIR correspondent reports that this by-poll is also the contest of prestige as BJP and Congress are trying hard to strengthen their tally in the state assembly.
Bypoll in five Assembly constituencies in Kerala is being held today. Vatiyoorkavu, Aroor, Konni, Ernakulam and Manjeswaram are the assembly constituencies in Kerala going to polls. Voting began at 7 am. UDF, United Democratic Font, LDF, Left Democratic Front and NDA are the three major political fronts in the battle. Kerala's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Tika Ram Meena on Friday said all arrangements were in place for the smooth conduct of the by-elections. Our 9,50, 000 voters will decide the fate of 35 candidates in 896 polling stations in the state today. Counting is on 24th.
Barring Aroor, the other four seats are held by the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) at present. While the bypoll to Manjeswaram constituency was necessitated by the death of UDF legislator P. B. Abdul Razack, the four other constituencies were vacated after their legislators won the Lok Sabha polls.
Voting has begun for bypolls to three assembly constituencies in Sikkim. Bypolls to Gangtok and Martam-Rumtek constituencies in East Sikkim district and Poklok-Kamrang in South Sikkim are being held as the respective candidates won the last assembly elections from two seats and vacated one later. The fate of 15 candidates would be determined by around 44,000 voters.
Sikkim chief minister Prem Singh Tamang, who is the president of the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), is part of a triangular contest with Sikkim Democratic Front’s (SDF) Moses Rai and Sikkim Republican Party’s (SRP) Yadhu Kumar Rai in Poklong-Kamrang.
In East Sikkim, six candidates each are contesting for the Bhutia/Lepcha-reserved assembly constituencies of Martam-Rumtek and Gangtok. The ruling SKM is not contesting from these constituencies and is supporting the BJP candidates. Similarly, the BJP is not contesting in Poklok-Kamrang and is supporting SKM.
AIR correspondent reports that people have started queuing up and voting at polling stations for bypolls to the Gangtok and Martam-Rumtek constituencies in East Sikkim and Poklok-Kamrang in South Sikkim since early morning. There are 12 polling booths in Gangtok and 22 in Martam-Rumtek. In Martam-Rumtek, six polling stations have been identified as critical. Of the 22 polling stations in Poklok Kamrang, four have been identified as critical, where half section of paramilitary forces has been deployed. Five all-women polling stations have been set up in Gangtok. Special arrangements such as Braille signages, wheel chairs, ramps and pick-up and drop facilities for persons with disabilities and senior citizens have been made to make the bypolls truly inclusive. A three-tier security set-up including Sikkim Police, Sikkim Armed Police and central armed forces has been provided. Flying squads, static surveillance teams, and video surveillance and video viewing teams are monitoring activities on the ground. Sector police offices and sector magistrates are on duty for maintaining law and order on poll day.
Counting of votes for both the Assembly elections and bypoll will be held on October 24. (AIR NEWS)