Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Counting begins for bypolls in five states including TN, WB, Maharashtra

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The counting of votes for by-elections to one assembly constituency in Arunachal Pradesh, one in Jharkhand, one in West Bengal, one in Tamil Nadu, and two in Maharashtra began on Thursday. On Monday, all of these assembly constituencies voted. In Tamil Nadu’s Erode East Assembly bypolls, 77 candidates from various political parties are vying for the prized Assembly seat.

However, the byelection is primarily between Congress candidate EVKS Elangovan and AIADMK candidate Thennarasu. Elangovan contested the bypoll with the support of the DMK, which is also Congress’ bigger partner in the ruling alliance.

Former Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami has a chance to emerge as a tall leader and reaffirm his hold on the AIADMK following the recent Supreme Court ruling that allowed him to remain at the helm of the party if the Erode bypoll results go his way.

The AIADMK, however, will face stiff competition from the ruling DMK in the race for the prized seat, with the Naam Tamizlar Katchi (NTK), the Desiya Morpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), and several other parties also in the running. The bypoll was called after Congress MLA Thirumahan Eveera died unexpectedly.

In Maharashtra, bypolls for the Chinchwad and Kasba Peth assembly seats will be counted. The outcome of the Kasba Peth election will be decided by a two-way fight between the BJP and the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), with the latter pitting Congress candidate Ravindra Dhangekar against the BJP’s Hemant Rasane.

Vitthal Kate of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Ashwini Jagtap of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and Independent Rahul Kalate are the candidates in Chinchwad. After the deaths of BJP MLAs Laxman Jagtap from the Chinchwad Assembly constituency and Mukta Tilak from the Kasba Peth Assembly constituency, bye-elections were called.

The death of Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Subrata Saha in December 2022 necessitated a by-election to West Bengal’s Sagardighi assembly seat. Debashish Banerjee and Dilip Saha were the TMC and BJP candidates, respectively. Bayron Biswas was the Congress candidate supported by the Left.

In the byelections for Jharkhand’s Ramgarh assembly constituency, 18 candidates are running, including 14 independents. The byelections were required due to the disqualification of Congress leader Mamta Devi.

The Congress nominated Mamta Devi’s husband, Bajrang Mahto, while the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) Party nominated Sunita Choudhary as its leader. In addition to the bypolls, assembly elections are being held in three northeastern states: Tripura, Nagaland, and Meghalaya.

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