Bypolls to 29 Assembly, 3 LS seats in 13 states Oct 30

Bypolls to 29 Assembly and 3 LS seats in 13 states on Oct 30; Cong has 10 sitting seats, BJP 6

Of the 29 Assembly seats, ten are sitting seats of Congress while six were with the BJP and two each with JD(U) and Trinamool Congress

An EVM machine. Credit: AFP File Photo

Governments face no threat as 29 Assembly and three Lok Sabha seats in 13 states and a union territory go to bypolls on Saturday but the results will have an impact on leading parties in states like Karnataka, Rajasthan, Telangana, Haryana, Bihar, Karnataka and Assam.

Of the 29 Assembly seats, ten are sitting seats of Congress while six were with the BJP and two each with JD(U) and Trinamool Congress. Two of the three Lok Sabha seats were won by the BJP last time while the third was won by the Congress.

Already, an NDDP candidate has won unopposed in Nagaland's Shamtorr-Chessore, the 30th seat that was announced to go to bypolls on October 30.

Except for six Assembly seats -- three in Assam and one in Telangana where MLAs defected to the BJP and resignation of two in West Bengal to remain as BJP MPs in Lok Sabha, the bypolls were necessitated in other Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies due to the death of sitting MLAs.

While there is no threat to the Karnataka government, the bypolls in Sindagi and Hangal are crucial for Basavaraj Bommai, who has just completed three months as Chief Minister. Sindagi is a sitting seat of the JD(S) while Hangal belongs to BJP, which is also trying to usurp Sindagi seat amid a turf war between Congress and JD(S).

In Telangana, TRS supremo and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is not leaving any stone unturned in the Huzurabad bypoll, as he wants to avenge the BJP's poaching of former Health Minister Eatala Rajendran, who was dropped from his Cabinet following corruption allegations.

The Deglur seat in Maharashtra is also keenly watched as the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi has fielded Jitesh Antapurkar, the son of sitting MLA Raosaheb Antapurkar who died recently. The BJP has fielded former Shiv Sena leader Subhash Sabne and a defeat in a sitting seat would be a setback for the ruling coalition.

Haryana's Ellenabad will witness INLD's Abhay Chautala, son of Om Prakash Chautala, fighting for victory one more time. He had quit the seat in protest against the three contentious farm laws and the seat is vital for the party as the bypoll comes after Dushyant Chautala quit the INLD to form a new party JJP and became Deputy Chief Minister in a BJP-led government.

Eyes will also be on Assam where five seats -- Gossaigaon, Bhabanipur, Tamlpur, Mariani and Thowra -- are going to the bypoll. Of this, bypolls to three seats -- two held by Congress and one by AIUDF --  are happening because the sitting MLAs quit their parties to join the BJP and are being re-fielded by Chief Minister Himanta Biswas Sarma. Two seats -- Gossaigaon and Bhabanipur -- were held by BPF and UPPL respectively.

The two seats in Rajasthan -- Vallabh Nagar held by Congress and Dhariawad by BJP -- will also be keenly watched as it comes against the backdrop of intensifying infighting by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot. In Madhya Pradesh, Jobat, Prithvipur (held by Congress) and Raigaon (by BJP) Assembly seats as well as Khandwa Lok Sabha seat held by BJP are going to bypoll.

Bihar is another state with two bypolls -- Kusheshwar Asthan and Tarapur (both held by JD-U) -- that has become one to watch with allies RJD and Congress fighting each other. The RJD not leaving the Kusheshwar Asthan had prompted the Congress to fight against the Lalu Prasad-led party, leading to war of words between each other. JD(U) is hopeful but has its fingers crossed as an adverse result would further corner Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Another interesting battle will be in West Bengal where BJP's two MLAs resigned to remain as Lok Sabha MPs soon after elections while two Trinamool Congress MLAs died necessitating the bypolls. The Trinamool and the BJP are turning every leaf to ensure victory of these seats.

Himachal Pradesh has Mandi Lok Sabha seat as well as three Assembly seats -- Arki, Fatehpur (both Congress) and Jubbal Kotkhai (BJP) -- going to bypolls. Arki was represented by former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. Singh's wife Prathiba is contesting from the Mandi Lok Sabha seat.

There are bypolls to Turial in Mizoram and three seats -- Mawryngkneng, Mawphlang and Rajbala -- in Meghalaya besides Dadra and Nagar Haveli Lok Sabha seat.

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