July 10 Assembly bypolls acid test for NDA, I.N.D.I.A

While the results will not destabilise the state governments, adverse outcomes will raise questions on leaderships in Bihar, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.
Last Updated : 07 July 2024, 02:40 IST

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New Delhi: In 36 days after the Lok Sabha results, the main political players in the country are bracing for Assembly bypolls in 13 seats spread across seven states, which will have ramifications for Congress, BJP, JD(U), RJD, Trinamool Congress and AAP.

While the results will not destabilise the state governments, adverse outcomes will raise questions on leaderships in Bihar, West Bengal, Tamil nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. The bypolls are on July 10 and counting will be on July 13.

The bypolls will be keenly watched especially in Himachal Pradesh where polling will be held in three seats vacated by independent MLAs who joined the BJP.

Though the Congress has crossed the majority mark of 35 by winning four of the six seats in bypolls held simultaneously with Lok Sabha, the results in Dehra, Hamirpur and Nalagarh will decide whether Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu adds to his political muscle over his dissidents.

One of the keenest battles will be in Dehra where Sukhu’s wife Kamlesh is seeking victory against BJP’s Hoshiyar Singh, one of the three independents who was supporting the Congress but changed political colours.

While senior BJP leaders Jairam Thakur and Anurag Thakur are criss-crossing constituencies, Congress is hopeful of winning at least two seats, as local BJP leaders are upset with giving the tickets to the turncoats, including Ashish Sharma (Hamirpur) and Hardeep Singh Bawa (Nalagarh).

In West Bengal, bypolls were necessitated in three – Raiganj, Ranaghat Dakshin and Bagda – of the four seats due to BJP MLAs switching sides to the Trinamool Congress. The fourth seat – Manktala – became vacant due to the death of the sitting Trinamool MLA.

Trinamool Congress had fielded former BJP MLAs Krishna Kalyani from Raiganj and Mukut Mani Adhikari from Ranaghat Dakshin (SC). In Bagda, which was vacated by BJP’s Biswajit Das who unsuccessfully fought Lok Sabha elections, it has fielded Madhuparna Thakur.

It is to be seen whether BJP, which had an unimpressive run in the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal, will be able to retain its seats while Trinamool believes that the turncoats will turn the tables for them.

Another battle is in Bihar’s Rupauli where Bima Bharti, who resigned from JD(U) to unsuccessfully fight Lok Sabha polls on a RJD ticket, is back to fight in the seat she vacated. JD(U)’s Kaldhar Prasad Mondol is fighting against her.

In Punjab’s Jalandhar West, AAP is seeking to take revenge on Sheetal Angural who defected to BJP and seeking re-election from the seat. Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and senior leaders are camping in the seat to ensure AAP nominee’s win, especially after a poor show in Lok Sabha polls.

Congress will also be keenly watching the bypoll in Madhya Pradesh’s Amarwara where its MLA Kamlesh Pratap Singh switched sides before Lok Sabha polls and seeking re-election on a BJP ticket.

In Uttarakhand’s Badrinath, Congress MLA rS Bhandari’s switching to BJP has resulted in bypolls while death of BSP MLA Sarwat Karim Ansari has led to the bypolls in Manglaur. Death of DMK MLA N Pugazhenthi has led to bypolls in Tamil Nadu’s Vikravandi.

Published 07 July 2024, 00:29 IST

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