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Bypolls Results In Six States Today: Seven Assembly Seats Up For Grabs; All You Need To Know

While the number of seats may seem meager to some and not many numerical political ramifications will follow the results, the bypolls are an uphill battle for gathering visibility and positive perception ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

As per reports, counting began at 8am and the results are expected to be announced around noon today
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The dice has been rolled and political currents are strong as bypoll results in six states are expected to be declared today. Two of these seats are in Bihar, and one each in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Telangana, and Odisha.

Of the seven seats, the Bhartiya Janata Party held three, the Congress two, while the regional stalwarts–Shiv Sena and the RJD had one each before bypolls were necessitated. Here’s all you need to know about the recently concluded by-elections for the seven assembly seats:

Bihar: A two-pronged battle

The prestige battle being fought in the state of Bihar is two-pronged. The state has recently seen a recalibrated government and the assembly bypolls of Mokama and Gopalganj are the first electoral test for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who dumped the pre-poll alliance partner BJP to form the government again with support from Lalu Prasad-led RJD.

The Mokama seat fell vacant after the disqualification of sitting RJD MLA and local strongman Anant Singh due to a conviction in a criminal case, while the Gopalganj elections were necessitated due to the death of sitting BJP MLA Subhash Singh.  

In Mokama, the RJD has fielded Anant Singh's wife Neelam Devi, while the BJP has given the party ticket to Sonam Devi, the wife of another strongman Lallan Singh. 

In Gopalganj, the BJP has fielded Kusum Devi, the widow of Subhash Singh against Mohan Gupta of the RJD and Indira Yadav of the BSP. 

Maharashtra: A game of ‘firsts’

The poll in Maharashtra is also a case of the first electoral test of the popularity of the state government after a change in its political alignment. The bypoll was necessitated due to the death of sitting Sena MLA Ramesh Latke. 

This by-election follows strong political headwinds following the Ekanath Shinde faction’s toppling of the Uddhav Thackerey led government, wherein Shinde succeeded Thackeray as Maharashtra Chief Minister after getting support of 40 of the Shiv Sena's 55 MLAs and the BJP’s nudge.

Against this backdrop, Shiv Sena’s Thackerey led faction has fielded Rutuja Latke, the deceased MLA’s wife, and is fighting with a new election symbol of ‘mashaal’ or the flaming torch. Latke is running unopposed after BJP withdrew its candidate as part of a “political tradition.” 

Telangana: A race to the south

The southern state is another hotbed for a prestige battle. The BJP's spirited campaign against Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, who hopes to be an opponent to PM Narendra Modi in 2024 general elections, will be put to test in the Munogode assembly bypoll, which was necessitated due to the resignation of Congress MLA K Rajagopal Reddy.      

Rajagopal Reddy is in the fray as the BJP candidate and is pitted against TRS candidate K Prabhakar Reddy and Congress nominee Palavai Sravanthi Reddy.  

The BJP has been eyeing Telangana as the second southern state to expand its footprint after Karnataka and the bypoll is being held just over an year before the assembly elections due in the state.

Odisha: Of fathers and sons

In Odisha, the Dhamnagar Assembly seat is witnessing a triangular contest with Suryavanshi Suraj Sthitaprajna of the BJP, Abanti Das of the BJD and Harekrushna Sethi of the Congress in the fray.  

The seat fell vacant due to the death of BJP MLA Bishnu Sethi and his son Suryavanshi is in the fray on the BJP ticket.

Following the polling, violence has been reported in the state, with at least three left severely wounded and houses damaged after supporters of rival political parties allegedly wreaked havoc. 

Haryana: All about family

The Adampur bypoll in Haryana has emerged as a contest among party hoppers. The bypoll was necessitated due to the resignation of sitting Congress MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi, who defected to the BJP. Bishnoi's son Bhavya is the BJP candidate, tasked with carrying the 68-year old family legacy forward. 

Uttar Pradesh: A traditional stronghold? 

In Uttar Pradesh, the bypoll for the Gola Gokarnnath assembly seat is a direct contest between the BJP and the SP. The bypoll, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of sitting BJP MLA Arvind Giri, is being held in the aftermath of the death of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.  

The BJP has fielded Giri's son Aman against Vinay Tiwari of the SP. The BSP and Congress have not fielded any candidate.

While the number of seats may seem meager to some and not many numerical political ramifications will follow the results, the bypolls are an uphill battle for gathering visibility and positive perception ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The regional parties hope to come together within a year-and-a-half to stage a united opposition to the Modi-led BJP government at the center, and with counting underway right now, the final tallies can act as image-boosters for some by noon today. 

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