New Delhi: As voting for the seven assembly constituencies begins, the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) will make its first show of strength against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of state assembly elections later this year and Lok Sabha elections in 2024. In six different states—Ghosi in Uttar Pradesh, Dhupguri in West Bengal, Puthuppally in Kerala, Bageshwar in Uttarakhand, Dumri in Jharkhand, and Boxanagar and Dhanpur in Tripura—by-elections are being held for seven seats.
The counting of all seven seats will be conducted on September 8. The by-polls in Dhupguri, Puthuppally, Bageshwar, Dumri and Boxanagar were necessitated due to the deaths of the sitting MLAs, while the MLAs of Ghosi and Dhanpur resigned from their posts.
Dara Singh Chauhan’s resignation as Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA necessitated bypolls in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghosi. Chauhan joined BJP after his resignation and BJP is fielding Chauhan against SP’s Sudhakar Singh for the bypolls.
Singh was previously MLA in Ghosi from 2012 to 2017 but lost in consecutive Assembly polls since then. Congress is backing its INDIA ally, SP. Ghosi bypoll is a crucial affair for SP and BJP as it is the first face-off since the formation of the Opposition coalition INDIA.
While in Tripura’s Dhanpur, BJP’s Pratima Bhoumik resigned to retain her Lok Sabha seat leaving the assembly vacant. BJP is fielding Bhoumik’s brother, Bindu Debnath against Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPI-M) candidate Kaushik Chanda in Dhanpur for the bypolls.
CPI(M) and BJP will contest against each other in Tripura’s Boxanagar seat which was left vacant by the death of CPI(M) MLA Samsul Haque. In Uttarakhand’s Bageshwar seat, SP, Congress and BJP will feature a contest against each other. The by-election was prompted by the death of BJP MLA Chandan Ram Dass.
BJP is fielding Dass’s wife Parwati against Congress’ Basant Kumar and SP’s Bhagawati Prasad. Congress veteran Oommen Chandy’s demise necessitated the bypolls in Kerala’s Puthuppally seat.
The Congress-led United Democratic Alliance (UDF) has fielded Oommen Chandy’s son Chandy Oommen while the ruling party CPI(M) has fielded Jaick C Thomas from this constituency.
The seat in Jharkhand Dumri was vacated after the death of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MLA Jagarnath Mahto. The party is fielding Mahto’s wife Bebi Devi in the bypolls representing INDIA bloc against NDA’s Yashoda Devi and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Abdul Rizvi.
The ruling party Jharkhand Mukti Morcha led by Chief Minister Hemant Soren, won the seat earlier in the 2019 Assembly polls. The Dhupguri assembly seat in West Bengal was vacated after the death of BJP’s Bishnu Pada Ray. BJP is fielding Tapasi Roy against Trinamool Congress candidate Nirmal Chandra Roy and the CPI(M) candidate Ishwar Chandra Roy.