By-Polls:Voting underway in 10 states Will Modi Wave Continue?

272730-vote700NEW DELHI : Gujarat’s Vadodara constituency vacated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among the 36 Lok Sabha and assembly seats across 10 states where by-elections are being held.As polling began, the Prime Minister, in a tweet, urged voters “across the country today to vote in large numbers”.  Byelections to 3 Lok Sabha and 33 Assembly constituencies spread across 10 states in an exercise seen as yet another major test of Narendra Modi government’s popularity since it assumed power in May.
The three Lok Sabha bypolls are in Vadodara (Gujarat), Mainpuri (Uttar Pradesh) and Medak (Telangana) while 11 Assembly constituencies are in UP, nine in Gujarat, four in Rajasthan, two in West Bengal, five in Northeastern states and one each in Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. Counting of votes is scheduled for September 16.​
Polling begins on brisk note in UP oters began to queue up at polling stations for the by-poll in Uttar Pradesh’s one Lok Sabha and 11 Assembly constituencies. The state’s ruling Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are the main contenders in most of the Assembly seats and the lone Lok Sabha seat. Stakes are high for BJP, Congress, Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh after the saffron party’s near-total sweep of the 80 seats in Lok Sabha polls just four months ago while Trinamool Congress battles to retain two assembly seats in West Bengal in the face of Saradha chit fund scam that has already ensnared some of its leaders.
If retaining Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat, vacated by SP supremo Mualayam Singh Yadav who had won from two LS seats including Azamgarh, is a matter of prestige for his party, BJP faces the challenge of holding on to the 11 assembly seats won earlier by the party. BJP chief Amit Shah also faces the challenge in the bypolls in UP as he is considered the main strategist behind the party’s stupendous success in last Lok Sabha poll. SP is going all out to retain Mainpuri where the bypoll would mark the launch of Tej Pratap Singh Yadav, the gennext of the extended of Mulayam Singh Yadav family.
Tej is the grandson of SP chief’s elder brother. The challenge for SP is not just to win the seat again but also to maintain the big margin with which Mulayama had romped home. In Mainpuri, BSP and Congress have not fielded their candidates, leaving a straight contest between Tej Pratap Singh and BJP’s Shiv Singh Shakya. BSP, which drew a blank in Lok Sabha polls, is not contesting the byelections.
The 11 Assembly seats in UP, whose outcome may be a pointer to which way the political wind is blowing in the run up to 2017 assembly polls, are Saharanpur Nagar, Noida, Thakurdwara, Bijnor, Nighasan, Balha, Sirathu, Rohaniya, Hamirpur, Charkhari and Lucknow East. All of these were vacated by BJP MLAs who won the Lok Sabha elections. Aandiben faces first test in Gujarat bypolls In Gujarat, Narendra Modi’s successor as chief minister in Gujarat, Anandiben Patel, faces her first big test when by-elections are held for Vadodara LS seat and in nine Assembly constituencies.
The nine Assembly seats that are going to polls are Maninagar, Anand, Limkheda, Deesa, Matar, Talaja, Tankara, Khambhalia and Mangrol. Vadodara is the lone Lok Sabha seat going for by-polls in Gujarat, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi vacated this seat after winning with huge margin. Voting starts in Telangana, Andhra The Medak Lok Sabha constituency in Telangana and the Nandigama Assembly seat in Andhra Pradesh went to polls from 7 am on Saturday. The polling in both the constituencies will continue till 6 pm. Over 15.43 lakh voters are eligible to cast their franchise in the prestigious Medak parliamentary constituency, which was once represented by late prime minister Indira Gandhi.
A total of 14 candidates are in fray in Medak but it is mainly a triangular contest. West Bengal: Voting for Chowringhee, Basirhat Assembly seats begin Voting for the Chowringhee and Basirhat (South) Assembly constituencies in West Bengal began at 7 am on Saturday. Chowringhee in Kolkata was won by Trinamool’s Sikha Mitra in 2011 Assembly polls, where the party fought jointly with the Congress. The 200,256 electors spread across 222 polling stations have to choose from nine candidates – Trinamool’s Nayna Bandyopadhyay, BJP’s Ritesh Tiwari, Congress’ Santosh K. Pathak, CPI-M’s Faiyaz Ahmad Khan and five independents. The Basirhat (South) constituency is a seat newly carved out in 2011. Nearly 235,843 people are eligible to vote in 286 polling stations.
Polling begins for bypoll in Raipur Amid tight security, voting began in the insurgency-hit Antagarh assembly constituency for the bypoll where only two candidates, including one from the ruling BJP, are in the fray in the tribal-dominated seat. “The polling has begun in Antagarh seat from 7 am,” an election official said. As many as 1,51,894 electorates would exercise their franchise at 202 polling stations, including 190 hyper sensitive and three auxiliary booths, till 3 pm, he said. Around 10,000 security personnel have been deployed in the region to ensure fair and peaceful polling, he added. It is for the first time since its formation, that Chhattisgarh will not witness any contest between the BJP and the Congress in the Assembly poll as the main opposition’s? candidate surprisingly withdrew from the contest at the last moment. Slow start to voting in Rajasthan bypolls
The voter turnout was lukewarm during the morning hours in the bypolls for four assembly constituencies in Rajasthan. “The polling has been peaceful so far and is expected to pick up in the afternoon. As per tentative information, over 14.80 percent of voters had cast their votes till 9.30 a.m.,” an election department official told IANS. In 2013 assembly elections, the state had recorded a high voter turnout of over 75.67 percent.
“The voting began at 7 a.m. at over 961 polling stations spread in these four constituencies. We have made elaborate security arrangements for the peaceful polls,” an election official said. The byelections were necessitated as BJP legislators Sanwar Lal Jat from Nasirabad, Om Birla from Kota South, Santosh Ahlawat from Surajgarh, and Bahadur Singh Koli from Weir got elected to the Lok Sabha. Brisk balloting in Assam bypolls Brisk voting took place Saturday for the byelections in Assam’s three assembly constituencies – Silchar, Lakhipur and Jamunamukh, officials said. The polling started at 7 a.m. in almost all the 588 polling stations across the three polling stations, barring two polling stations under Jamunamukh constituency where voting could not start due to technical snags in the electronic voting machines (EVMs).

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