The Election Commission on Tuesday announced that byelections to the seven Assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will be held on November 3.
The seven seats are Naugawan Sadat in Amroha district, Bulandshahr Sadar in Bulandshahr district, Tundla in Firozabad district, Bangermau in Unnao district, Ghatampur in Unnao district, Deoria and Malhani in Jaunpur district.
Five of them fell vacant with the death of incumbent MLAs, including two ministers in the BJP government — Kamlarani Varun from Ghatampur and Chetan Chauhan from Naugawan Sadat — who died of Covid-19.
Tundla Assembly seat fell vacant after the local MLA, SP Singh Baghel, won the Lok Sabha election last year. Bangarmau, on the other hand, fell vacant after BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar was convicted in a rape case, leading to his disqualification.
The Assembly bypoll will be a litmus test for the ruling BJP as it had won six of the seven seats. Only Malhani was held by the Samajwadi Party.
Considering the significance of the bypoll that are being held nearly one-and-a-half years before the next Assembly elections in 2022, the BJP has already deputed ministers in charge of each of the seven constituencies.
Sources said that Sengar’s wife is among the contenders for the party ticket from Bangarmau. In Deoria, which fell vacant after the death of MLA Janmaijai Singh, the BJP may field his son.
In Malhani, where the BJP candidate, Satish Kumar Singh, came a distant fourth, losing to veteran Samajwadi Party leader Parasnath Yadav, the contest is likely to become interesting with BJP ally, Nishad Party, keen to throw its hat in the poll ring.
The seat, however, has been a stronghold of the Samajwadi Party. Yadav had won from there in 2012 and 2017 Assembly polls.
Samajwadi Party state unit chief Naresh Uttam Patel held a review meeting for the bypolls through video conferencing on Tuesday. According to sources, Patel took stock of the situation of the party in Ghatampur and asked local party workers to step up the campaign there.
Meanwhile, BSP chief Mayawati announced that her party will contest the Assembly bypolls in UP, as well as in Madhya Pradesh — the BSP generally doesn’t contest bypolls.
She also announced that BSP will contest the Bohar Assembly elections in alliance with the RLSP. She, however, said that she would not be campaigning, especially in UP and Madhya Pradesh, due to the ongoing Covid pandemic. “In these byelections, considering the Covid pandemic and restrictions, it would not be possible to campaign in all the places. BSP neither not contest bypolls nor do I campaign during the bypolls,” she said in a statement issued by the party.
Notably, Azad Samaj Party of Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad has announced that it will make its electoral debut in this Assembly bypoll. It has already named Haji Yamin as its candidate from Bulandshahr Sadar seat.
The Congress has also named two candidates for Bangarmau and Suar – the EC is yet to notify the bypoll date for Suar Assembly seat. While the party has fielded Arti Vajpayee, a relative of former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dixit, in Bangarmau, the party has named Haider Ali Khan, son of Nawab Kazim Ali and grandson of Begum Noor Bano, from Suar.
The counting of votes will take place on November 10.
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