Barring one incident of stabbing of a policeman in Tripura, polling was overall peaceful on Thursday in bypolls to three Lok Sabha and seven assembly seats spread across five states and Delhi, where the turnout was the highest at 76.62 per cent. In Punjab, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, the turnout was less than 45 per cent, while it was 56 per cent in Jharkhand and 67 per cent in Andhra Pradesh. Final figures are likely to change. In Uttar Pradesh, where bypolls to Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha seats saw 43 per cent voter turnout, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav accused the ruling BJP of misusing power to disrupt polling.
He alleged that though the Election Commission was informed about the developments, the election machinery remained a mute spectator. He alleged that SP workers were harassed and undue pressure was put on them to vote for BJP candidates. An impressive 76.62 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the by-elections to four assembly constituencies in Tripura. Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Kiran Gitte said off-duty police constable Sameer Saha, who was stabbed in Kunjaban area of Agartala constituency, is undergoing treatment at a hospital.
The opposition Congress demanded re-polling in four booths in the Agartala constituency, claiming massive rigging, while the TMC alleged that “democracy was murdered” in the name of bypolls. The ruling BJP has expressed confidence of winning all the four seats – Agartala, Jubrajnagar, Soorma and Town Bardowali. Chief Minister Manik Saha is contesting from Town Bardowali. He has to win this election to remain the chief minister. He is a Rajya Sabha member who took oath last month following the sudden resignation of then Chief Minister Biplab Deb.
The TMC, which is trying to make inroads in the state, alleged massive rigging by “BJP-backed goons”. At least 37 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the by-election to the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat in Punjab.
In a tweet, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann demanded the Election Commission to extend the polling time till 7 pm, saying that many people are still working in the fields due to the paddy sowing season. The deputy commissioner-cum-returning officer of Sangrur and the chief secretary of the state also demanded extension of polling time from the election panel. The poll panel pulled up the officials over the request, asking them to explain why they extended the polling time to the closing hours, saying it would “unreasonably interfere with the election process and affect certain sections of the electorate”. attempt to do”.
In Delhi’s Rajinder Nagar assembly constituency, more than 43 percent voters exercised their franchise in the by-election. The bypoll is largely being seen as a battle between a confident AAP and a spirited BJP. Around 67 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the by-elections held in Andhra Pradesh’s Atmakuru assembly constituency.
State Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Kumar Meena said barring a few minor incidents, polling continued without any incident of violence, serious complaints and obstruction. In Battepadu village of Atmakuru mandal, independent candidate T Sasidhar Reddy objected to the allegations of campaigning inside a polling booth by workers of the ruling YSR Congress. He also alleged that the officers are turning a blind eye and arguing with the police.
The matter remained unresolved even after polling came to a halt after the intervention of senior officials. The BJP alleged that its polling agent was abducted from a polling booth in Krishnapuram village, but the police denied any such incident.
Police tried to disperse a crowd of YSRC workers gathered near a polling booth in Padmatinayudu Palli. The ruling party workers initially opposed the police’s effort but were later sent away from the scene. In Jharkhand, 56.03 percent voter turnout was recorded in the Mandar assembly by-election in Ranchi district.
The by-election was necessitated following the disqualification of Bandhu Tirkey as an MLA in the wake of his conviction in a corruption case. The Congress has fielded the brothers’ daughter Shilpa Neha Tirkey as the general candidate of the JMM-led alliance, while the BJP has fielded former MLA Gangotri Kujur. The by-election to Azamgarh seat in Uttar Pradesh was held in the wake of the resignation of SP chief Yadav, who was elected to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly as an MLA in the elections earlier this year.
The Rampur seat was vacated by senior SP leader Azam Khan, who was also elected to the state assembly. In Punjab, the bypoll was necessitated due to Mann’s resignation from the Lok Sabha after being elected as an MLA in the state assembly election earlier this year. He had won the Sangrur seat in the 2014 and 2019 parliamentary elections.
Bypolls were held in Agartala and Town Bardowali in Tripura after Sudip Roy Burman and Ashish Saha resigned as BJP MLAs and joined the Congress in February. The Soorma seat in Dhalai district fell vacant after BJP MLA Ashish Das was disqualified by Speaker Ratan Chakraborty and a bypoll in Jubrajnagar was held after the death of CPI(M) MLA Ramendra Chandra Devnath.
In Andhra Pradesh, bypolls are being held to fill a vacancy caused by the death of the then Industries Minister Mekapati Gowtham Reddy in February. His brother Vikram Reddy is a candidate of the ruling YSR Congress and is pitted against BJP’s G Bharat Kumar Yadav. Recently, a by-election had to be held in Delhi after AAP leader Raghav Chadha left the seat after being elected to the Rajya Sabha.
Read all the latest news, breaking news, watch top videos and watch Live TV right here.