Key bypolls in 13 assembly seats across seven states begin; Himachal CM’s wife in fray | India News

NEW DELHI: Voting for the byelections in 13 Assembly seats across seven states commenced at 7 am on Wednesday. The counting of votes for these bypolls will take place on July 13.
The fate of several veteran politicians and newcomers, including the wife of Himachal Pradesh chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu Kamlesh Thakur will be decided in the polls.
These elections, the first since the Lok Sabha polls, will fill vacancies caused by deaths or resignations of sitting members in legislative assemblies. The constituencies going to bypolls include:

  • West Bengal: Raiganj, Ranaghat Dakshin, Bagda, Maniktala
  • Uttarakhand: Badrinath, Manglaur,
  • Punjab: Jalandhar West
  • Himachal Pradesh: Dehra, Hamirpur, Nalagarh
  • Bihar: Rupauli
  • Tamil Nadu: Vikravandi
  • Madhya Pradesh: Amarwara

TMC and BJP clash in West Bengal

In West Bengal, both the ruling TMC and the BJP have high stakes in the bypolls. The TMC aims to capitalize on its improved performance in the Lok Sabha elections, while the BJP seeks to leverage the significant leads it gained in the four constituencies during the parliamentary polls.
The TMC won Maniktala in the 2021 West Bengal elections, while the BJP won Raiganj, Ranaghat Dakshin, and Bagda before the MLAs switched to the TMC. The TMC has fielded candidates with strong local connections, while the BJP has nominated prominent figures like the All India Football Federation president Kalyan Chaubey.

Key bypolls in Himachal

Himachal Pradesh will witness bypolls in three assembly constituencies – Dehra, Hamirpur, and Nalagarh – after three independent legislators who supported the BJP in the Rajya Sabha polls resigned from the House. The BJP has fielded these former Independent MLAs from their respective seats after they joined the party. The Congress has nominated chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu’s wife Kamlesh Thakur in Dehra, while former Independent MLAs face Congress candidates in Hamirpur and Nalagarh. The BJP gained leads in all three constituencies during the recent Lok Sabha polls.

High stakes for BJP in Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand’s Manglaur constituency will see a three-way contest between the BSP, Congress, and BJP, with the BJP never having won the Muslim and Dalit-dominated seats. The Badrinath assembly bypoll will be a direct fight between the BJP’s Rajendra Bhandari, who recently switched from the Congress, and Congress newcomer Lakhpat Singh Butola. Historically, the party in power has an advantage in Uttarakhand bypolls.

AAP eyes a comeback in Punjab

The Jalandhar West assembly bypoll in Punjab is a crucial test for chief minister Bhagwant Mann and the AAP after their poor performance in the Lok Sabha polls. The multi-cornered fight features candidates from the AAP, Congress, and BJP, with Mann actively campaigning for the AAP candidate. The BJP also aims to secure a victory after failing to win any seats in the recent Lok Sabha elections.
(With agency inputs)

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