Voting will be held on November 3 in seven assembly constituencies of six states. The by-elections were necessitated in these states after sitting MLAs either died, changed parties or were convicted in criminal cases. The counting of votes is to be held on November 6. Here’s everything you need to know.
1. Andheri East (Maharashtra)
Due to the untimely demise of Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke, a by-election had to be held in Andheri East. What could be a high-octane battle between the two rival Sena, led by Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde, is expected to end with the victory of Rutuja Latke of Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) in the bypolls.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) withdrew its candidate Murji Patel after Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and NCP appealed to the party not to field candidates against Rutuja.
According to the list of candidates provided by the State Election Commission, apart from Rutuja, there are four independent candidates and one each from Aapki Apni Party (People’s) and the Right to Recall Party.
2. Mokama (Bihar)
The Mokama seat fell vacant after sitting MLA Anant Singh was sacked for his conviction in a criminal case. The assembly constituency is set for a proxy battle between two Bhumihar strongmen: four-time MLA from the seat, Anant Singh, popularly known as ‘Chhote Sarkar’, and Nalini Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh. Though none of the leaders is contesting the polls on their own, their wives – Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Neelam Devi and BJP’s Sonam Devi, respectively – are in the running.
3. Gopalganj (Bihar)
Due to the death of BJP MLA Subhash Singh, the election had to be fought in Gopalganj.
Singh’s wife and BJP candidate, Kusum Devi, want to retain the seat. She is up against RJD’s Mohan Gupta, Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Indira Yadav, wife of Anirudh Yadav – Lalu Prasad’s brother-in-law – and AIMIM’s Aslam Mukhiya.
The by-polls in both Mokama and Gopalganj will be the first electoral test for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who ended his alliance with the BJP, forming a grand coalition with the support of the RJD.
4. Adampur (Haryana)
Adampur is gearing up for a high-stakes battle after former sitting MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi resigned from the Assembly in August to switch from the Congress to the BJP.
Among the candidates in the fray is Kuldeep’s son Bhavya Bishnoi from the BJP. The bypoll will be a test for BJP-JJP ties as party insiders say Bhavya’s victory will put both Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and the BJP in a more commanding position over the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP).
5. Munugode (Telangana)
The by-election in the Munugode constituency will be held on August 2 after the resignation of MLA Komatireddy Raj Gopal Reddy. Reddy left Congress and joined the BJP on August 21. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has nominated him to contest the by-election again.
The polls have indicated defection in Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the Congress party. The ruling TRS has fielded K Prabhakar Reddy, who lost to Komatireddy Raj Gopal Reddy in the December 2018 assembly elections. The Congress has fielded Palvai Sarwanthi Reddy, daughter of former MLA and Rajya Sabha MP Palvai Govardhan Reddy.
6. Gola Gokrannath (Uttar Pradesh)
The by-election to the Gola Gokarnath assembly seat in the Lakhimpur Kheri district was held following the death of sitting MLA Arvind Giri, who had suffered a heart attack last month.
BJP has fielded his son Aman Giri in the by-election. He will face former MLA and Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Vinay Tiwari. In 2012, Tiwari won this seat but failed to retain it, losing to Arvind Giri in the subsequent elections in 2017 and 2022.
7. Dhamnagar (Odisha)
The seat fell vacant due to the untimely demise of BJP MLA Vishnu Charan Das. His son Suryavanshi Suraj will contest for BJP. He is up against Abanti Das of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Baba Harekrishna Seth, the Congress candidate. Former MLA Rajendra Das is also in the fray as an independent candidate. After filing his nomination, he was expelled by BJD for “anti-party activities”.