Results of the election will be announced today for seven assembly seats spread across six states. Bihar, Telangana, and Haryana are all engaged in prestige conflicts, while a family legacy is at stake in Bihar.
Here are 10 ideas that sum up the significance of these elections:
- The BJP is currently leading in Dhamnagar in Odisha and has won in Gola Gokrannath in Uttar Pradesh, Adampur in Haryana, and Gopalganj in Bihar. In Mokama, Bihar, the Rashtriya Janata Dal under Tejashwi Yadav has triumphed. In Munugode, K Chandrashekar Rao’s Telangana Rashtriya Samithi is in the lead, and the Shiv Sena faction, led by Uddhav Thackeray, is expected to win the Andheri East seat in Mumbai.
- Before byelections were required, the BJP held three of the seven seats, the Congress held two, and the Shiv Sena and the RJD each held one. Bihar has two seats, while UP, Haryana, Maharashtra, Telangana, and Odisha each have one.
- Nitish Kumar is contesting two seats in Bihar for the first time since leaving the BJP to renew the JDU’s partnership with Tejashwi Yadav’s RJD. Neelam Devi, an RJD candidate who is the wife of Anant Singh, who was disqualified for illegally possessing firearms, is in the lead in Mokama. The RJD wants to unseat the BJP from Gopalganj, which it has controlled for almost 20 years. It has matched up Mohan Prasad Gupta with Kusum Devi of the BJP, whose husband Subhas Singh’s passing compelled the election.
- In Haryana, whether former chief minister Bhajan Lal’s grandson Bhavya Bishnoi can continue the 68-year legacy after switching from the Congress to the BJP will be decided in the family seat of Adampur. This byelection was brought about by Bhavya Bishnoi’s father Kuldeep Bishnoi, who led the family into the BJP and resigned as Adampur’s MLA as he defected.
- Andheri East in Maharashtra is witnessing two firsts. It’s the first election battle since the Shiv Sena split into two parties when Eknath Shinde defeated Uddhav Thackeray to take over as Chief Minister with the support of the BJP. Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) and the “mashaal” or flaming torch are new names for the Thackerays-led Sena, which has not fought in decades.
- Shiv Sena (Uddhav) candidate Rutuja Latke is the widow of a former Andheri (East) Sena MLA who passed away in Dubai in May 2022 following a heart attack. As per “political tradition,” the BJP withdrew its candidate from the election when a leader’s death made it necessary.
- Given Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s desire to mount a challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2024, Munugode observed the conflict between the state’s ruling TRS and its sworn rival BJP on the ground and made allegations involving “crores of rupees.” In this case, the former Congress MLA is now running on the BJP ticket.
- The regional party in power, the BJD, is up against the BJP in Dhamnagar, Odisha. The BJP had previously won, but the passing of MLA Bishnu Charan Sethi prompted a new election. His son has been fielded.
- The BJP is vying to keep the Gola Gokarannath seat in its stronghold of Uttar Pradesh, which became vacant following the passing of its MLA Arvind Giri on September 6. As the BSP and Congress are staying away, the contest is between former MLA Vinay Tiwari of the Samajwadi Party and Arvind Giri’s son Aman Giri of the BJP.
- The math for the current state governments is unlikely to be altered by any of these competitions. However, with regional parties attempting to form a unified front for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections – which are only a year and a half away – these could act as either perception-busters or booster shots, depending on the outcomes.