LIVE Sikandara, Sabang, Pakke-Kasang, Likabali by-election updates: The voting for the bypolls in West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have begun and will last till 4 PM. In UP, the Sikandara Assembly seat in Kanpur Dehat district is vacant since the demise of BJP MLA Mathura Prasad Pal on 22 July. In the Assembly elections this year, Pal had bagged 87,879 votes, defeating BSP candidate Mahendra Katiyar (Bablu). Ajit Pal Singh is BJP candidate for the bypoll, while Samajwadi Party fielded Seema Sachan and Congress candidate is Prabhakar. BSP is not contesting.
In Sabang constituency of West Bengal, the bypoll is being seen as a litmus test for Mukul Roy who recently joined BJP after leaving ruling TMC in the state. The Trinamool Congress candidate in fray is Gita Rani Bhunia. The seat had fallen vacant after Bhunia’s husband and former Congress MLA Manas Ranjan Bhunia was elected to Rajya Sabha on a TMC ticket. The bypoll is a litmus test for both the ruling Trinamool Congress as well as the BJP as the latter is trying to emerge as the principal opposition party in the state. Mukul Roy believes the BJP will do well.
In Arunachal Pradesh, six candidates are in the fray for the by-election to Pakke-Kessang and Likabali assembly seats in Arunachal Pradesh. Likabali seat fell vacant after death of Health and Family Welfare Minister Jomde Kena passed away on 4 September this year, while by-election to Pakke-Kessang seat was necessitated after the Gauhati High Court had nullified the election of Kameng Dolo from the said constituency during the March 2014 polls.
11: 15 am: In all, there are 12 candidates in the fray for the Sikandara Assembly seat. Out of this, there are five independent candidates.
10: 45 am: The voting will be on till 4 pm. Police and paramilitary are deployed in large number to ensure smooth conduct of elections.
9: 42 am: A total 7,455 voters can exercise their franchise in 29 polling stations in Pakke-Kessang, while 10,608 people can cast their votes in 39 polling stations in Likabali constituency.
9: 18 am: Voting underway for bypolls in West Bengal’s Sabang, Arunachal Pradesh’s Pakke-Kessang and Likabali, and Uttar Pradesh’s Sikandara.
8: 30 am: Voting for by-election in West Bengal’s Sabang, underway. TMC’s Gita Bhunia, Congress’ Chiranjib Bhowmick, BJP’s Antara Bhattacharya and CPI(M)candidate Rita Mandal are among the top contenders. SEE PICS
8: 02 am: Polling begins at the Sabang, Sikandara, Pakke-Kasang, Likabali constituencies
7: 57 am: Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system will be used for the first time in the state of Arunachal Pradesh for the byelection.
7: 45 am: LIVE Sabang, Sikandara, Pakke-Kasang, Likabali by-election: Voting to begin shortly.
7: 27 am: To ensure fool-proof security, the Election Commission has deployed eight companies of central forces.
7: 07 am: An electorate of 2,45,259 is eligible to exercise its democratic choice in Sabang constituency.
6: 42 am: Altogether 245,259 voters will exercise their franchise at the by-poll.
6: 00 am: TMC has fielded Gita Rani Bhunia, wife of former Congress leader Manas Bhunia who had defected to the Mamata Banerjee-led party earlier this year necessitating the by-election. Bhunia had won the seat in last year’s assembly poll in the state.
4: 00 am: Altogether 245,259 voters will exercise their franchise at the by-poll.
3: 45 am: The by-election to Sabang assembly constituency, which will be a crucial test for both the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP, will be held today amidst tight security with eight companies of central paramilitary force personnel deployed for it.