Voting for bye-elections for seven Assembly constituencies across six states were held on Thursday, ANI reported. Polling started at 7 am and ended up at 6 pm.
Polling was held at Munugode in Telangana, Mokama and Gopalganj in Bihar, Andheri (East) in Maharashtra, Adampur in Haryana, Gola Gokarannath in Uttar Pradesh and Dhamnagar in Odisha. The votes will be counted on November 6.
Among the seven seats where the bye-polls are underway, the Bharatiya Janata Party previously held three seats, the Congress two and the Shiv Sena and the Rashtriya Janata Dal one each, reported PTI.
Stakes are high in the Munugode as the winner would have an edge over others ahead of next year’s Assembly polls in Telangana. The contest was necessitated after Congress MLA Komatireddy Raj Gopal Reddy resigned in August and joined the BJP.
He is re-contesting on a BJP ticket and his main rivals are former legislators Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and Palvai Sravanthi of the Congress.
A 77.55% voter turnout was recorded in Munugode, according to Election Commission data.
Ahead of the polls, the Cyberabad Police on October 26 raided a farmhouse where they said they found three men allegedly associated with the BJP trying to poach four MLAs of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi.
In Bihar, the bye-polls to the Mokama and Gopalganj Assembly constituencies are the first electoral test for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who cut ties with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in August and formed a new coalition government with the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress and Left parties.
The Mokama seat was with the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the party is looking to wrest Gopalganj, which is the home district of party chief Lalu Prasad, from the BJP.
A voter turnout of 51.48% has been recorded in Gopalganj and 53.45% in Mokama, according to Election Commission data.
A voter turnout of 31.74% was recorded in Mumbai’s Andheri East seat where the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena is expected to win the bye-poll comfortably after the BJP withdrew its nominee last month.
The election was necessitated by the death of Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke. His wife and the nominee of the Uddhav Thackeray group, Rutuja Latke, is pitted against six candidates.
In Haryana, former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal’s family is trying to hold on to the Adampur seat they have represented since 1968.
Lal’s younger son Kuldeep Bishnoi resigned as an MLA from the seat and switched to the BJP from the Congress in August. His son Bhavya Bishnoi is now contesting as a BJP candidate against Congress candidate Jai Prakash, a former Union minister.
The Indian National Lok Dal and Aam Aadmi Party are also contesting the election.
Adampur recorded a voter turnout of 75.25%, the Election Commission data showed.
Uttar Pradesh, Odisha
The BJP is looking to retain Gola Gokarnnath seat in Uttar Pradesh and Dhamnagar in the Biju Janata Dal-ruled Odisha. In both places, the saffron party has fielded the sons of the MLAs who died, leading to the contest.
The Biju Janata Dal has fielded Abanti Das, the only woman among the five candidates in Dhamnagar. From the BJP, late MLA Bishnu Charan Sethi’s son Suryabanshi Suraj is contesting the polls.
A voter turnout of 66.63% was recorded in Dhamnagar, according to Election Commission data.
In Uttar Pradesh, the Gola Gokarnnath constituency is seeing a direct contest between the BJP and the Samajwadi Party as the Congress is not contesting. The seat fell vacant after five-time MLA Arvind Giri died last month.
A victory for Samajwadi Party will allow it to claim that the BJP has failed at administration, law and order, and other aspects of governance since returning to power nine months ago.
Gola Gokarnnath saw a voter turnout of 57.35%, the poll panel data showed.
The Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements for the polls, including deploying 3,366 companies of the state police and 15 of the central security personnel in Munugode. Webcasting would be done from all the polling stations, officials said.
While the results of the polls will not change who rules the states, the parties have heavily campaigned for the elections.