On November 21, two Lok Sabha seats and five assembly seats will go to polls. From a Lok Sabha seat the Congress hopes to wrest in Madhya Pradesh to a Mizoram assembly seat where the incumbent MLA is recontesting after quitting over conflict-of-interest allegations here’s a look at the stakes and the politics in the constituencies.
Ratlam (Lok Sabha)
Over a year after winning 27 out of 29 Lok Sabha seats in Madhya Pradesh, the BJP is on edge ahead of the upcoming bypoll in Ratlam (ST) constituency.
The Congress is giving this election its best shot, buoyed as it is by the result of the Bihar elections. The bypoll follows the death of MP Dilip Singh Bhuria, and the BJP has fielded his daughter Nirmala Bhuria, MLA from Petlawad, while the Congress has renominated former Union minister Kantilal Bhuria.
Of the two Lok Sabha and five assembly seats heading for bypolls on November 21 — a sixth assembly bypoll has been postponed — Ratlam has the makings of being the most keenly contested, with both sides giving it everything they have.
Warangal (Lok Sabha)
Any challenge the Congress may have mounted in the Warangal Lok Sabha bypoll of November 21 was hit severely when its candidate Sircilla Rajaiah, a former MP, found himself embroiled in a police case after his daughter-in-law allegedly killed herself and his three grandsons.
The Congress replaced him with another former MP, Sarvey Satyanarayana, but the blow it suffered boosted the hopes of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) in a constituency where sentiments were already running high for the party, particularly for Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao.
The Congress, the YSR Congress Party, the BJP-TDP and the Left are hoping to play on issues such as farmer suicides and delay in recruitment to government jobs.
Dewas (Assembly seat)
Facing a murder charge doesn’t necessarily disqualify a “maharaja” from being campaign material, especially when voters are asked to elect his mother. So Shrimant Maharaj Sa (heb) Vikram Singh Puar, whose coronation as the king of the erstwhile princely state of Dewas took place when he was given anticipatory bail, features in the BJP’s campaign material for the eponymous assembly seat.
The byelection has been necessitated by the death of Tukoji Rao Puar, whose wife Gayatri Devi has been fielded by the BJP. The Congress candidate is Jaiprakash Shastri.
Aizawl North 3 (Assembly seat)
The bypoll for Mizoram’s Aizawl North 3 constituency began, in a sense, when the online news portal scroll.in published a report on June 29 about the idleness of local contractors because the state government had awarded most contracts to outside firms.
The report detailed how CM Lal Thanhawla’s younger brother Lal Thanzara held more than a fifth of the shares in Delhi-based Sunshine Overseas at a time the firm’s business with the state PWD, which Lal Thanhawla looks after, grew “from Rs 6.83 crore (2010-11) to Rs 24.16 crore (2011-12).”
Also voting in these elections are the two Assembly constituencies of Manipur – Thongju and Thangmeiband. They were both held by Trinamool Congress MLAs Th Biswajit Singh and Kh Joykisan Singh who have now joined the BJP, leading to their disqualification under the anti-defecation law and necessitating the bypoll.
Meghalaya’s Nongtoin Assembly seat is also going to polls after the death of its MLA and Hill State People’s Democratic Party chief Hoping Stone Lyngdoh.
Jharkhand’s Lohardaga assembly constituency will not be voting as the bypoll has been rescheduled to December in view of panchayat polls coinciding with the original schedule. Sitting All Jharkhand Students Union MLA Kamla Kishore Bhagat has been disqualified after being arrested in a murder-and-extortion case.