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Business News/ Politics / News/  Bypolls 2023: Voting begins on seven seats in six states; INDIA Bloc faces debut electoral challenge
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Bypolls 2023: Voting begins on seven seats in six states; INDIA Bloc faces debut electoral challenge

Bypolls 2023: Opposition bloc INDIA faces key test in by-elections in 7 assembly seats across India; polling on Tuesday.

 Bypolls 2023: Voting begins for seven bypolls in six states (Photo by Arabinda Mahapatra/ Hindustan Times) (File Image)Premium
Bypolls 2023: Voting begins for seven bypolls in six states (Photo by Arabinda Mahapatra/ Hindustan Times) (File Image)

In what could be seen as a litmus test for the Opposition bloc –Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance or INDIA against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of crucial state assembly polls later this year and the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, polling for by-election to seven assembly seats in six states will be held on Tuesday.

Polling for the bypolls in Ghosi constituency in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand’s Dumri, Dhanpur and Boxanagar in Tripura, Uttarakhand's Bageshwar, Dhupguri in West Bengal and Puthuppally in Kerala will begin at 7am. The counting of votes will be held on September 8.

Also Read: Bypolls 2023 LIVE Updates: Voting begins on 7 seats, litmus test for INDIA bloc

The opposition alliance comprises 28 parties including the Congress, NCP faction led by Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena (UBT), TMC, JMM, AAP, DMK, NC, PDP, CPI(M), CPI, RJD, SP and RLD.

Ghosi, Uttar Pradesh

The Ghosi assembly seat became vacant when Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA and prominent OBC leader Dara Singh Chauhan resigned and subsequently joined the BJP. Chauhan is now running for the same seat as part of the NDA alliance, while the Samajwadi Party's Sudhakar Singh, backed by the Congress and Left parties, is also in the fray.

Chauhan had previously served as a minister in the prior BJP government led by Yogi Adityanath. On January 12 of the previous year, he resigned from the cabinet and switched to the SP.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath spearheaded the BJP's campaign, while Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav held a rally in Ghosi. According to Yadav, the election has the potential to bring about a transformation in the nation's political landscape.

Dhupguri, West Bengal

The Dhupguri assembly constituency in north Bengal is witnessing a three-cornered contest among the Trinamool Congress, BJP and the Congress-supported CPI(M). While the TMC had won the seat in 2016, it was snatched by the BJP in 2021.

Also Read: Bengal bypoll: Dhupguri seat to put INDIA opposition bloc's unity to test

The Dhupguri assembly seat fell vacated after the death of BJP’s Bishnu Pada Ray. The BJP is fielding Tapasi Roy against TMC candidate Nirmal Chandra Roy and the CPI(M) candidate Ishwar Chandra Roy.

Dhanpur and Boxanagar, Tripura

The BJP's campaign in the Dhanpur and Boxanagar seats of Sepahijala district was actively fronted by Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha. However, the primary opposition parties, Tipra Motha and Congress, chose not to participate. Instead, the Tripura Pradesh Congress encouraged voters to support INDIA alliance candidates in these two constituencies.

Also Read: Tripura bypolls in Dhanpur, Boxanagar seats tomorrow; BJP and CPI(M) in direct contest

It's worth noting that Congress opted to back the CPI(M) after expressing initial discontent with the CPI(M)'s candidate selection process, which excluded their input.

Dhanpur, which was previously a robust stronghold for the communist party, is now poised for a head-to-head contest between Bindu Debnath from the BJP and Kaushik Debnath from the CPI(M).

Puthuppally, Kerala

In the Puthuppally constituency of Kerala, the Congress and the ruling Left parties have chosen to directly compete against each other.

Also Read: Kerala Bypolls: Congress exudes confidence in winning Puthupally seat, following Oommen Chandy's 53-year-stint

The state's opposition party is relying on the sentiment of "anti-incumbency" and the legacy of the late Oommen Chandy.

Dumri, Jharkhand

In the Dumri constituency of Jharkhand, the candidate from the INDIA alliance, Bebi Devi, is competing against Yashoda Devi from the NDA. This seat holds significant prestige for both alliances. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) claims that the INDIA alliance will kickstart its winning streak from Dumri, while the NDA expresses confidence in wresting the seat from the JMM.

Also Read: Jharkhand Bypolls: INDIA bloc and NDA to clash over Dumri assembly seat 

The by-election became necessary following the passing of JMM MLA Jagarnath Mahto, a former education minister, in April. Mahto had been representing this constituency since 2004.

Bageshwar, Uttarakhand

In the Bageshwar constituency, there will be a competitive race involving the Samajwadi Party, Congress, and BJP. The by-election was necessitated by the unfortunate passing of BJP MLA Chandan Ram Dass.

The BJP has nominated Dass's wife, Parwati, as their candidate, while the Congress is fielding Basant Kumar, and the Samajwadi Party's contender is Bhagawati Prasad.

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and other prominent BJP leaders actively campaigned for Dass. On the other side, heavyweight Congress figures like Harish Rawat, PCC President Karan Mahara, and State Assembly Leader of Opposition Yashpal Arya have been engaged in intensive campaigning in Bageshwar to garner support for their candidate, Basant Kumar.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 05 Sep 2023, 08:09 AM IST
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