The by-elections for ten seats — three Lok Sabha and seven Assembly — across five states and Delhi are scheduled to be held on June 23. The states that will be witnessing the Lok Sabha byelections are Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, while assembly byelections will be held in Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Jharkhand. The counting of votes will take place on June 26, and subsequently the results will be declared.
While it will be a prestige battle for Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav and party stalwart Azam Khan in their own backyards in Uttar Pradesh, a big test lies ahead of Tripura’s new Chief Minister Manik Saha as he will be facing his first Assembly election.
By-elections 2022 – States going to polls
Tripura (4 Assembly seats) – Agartala, Town Bardowali, Surma and Jubarajnagar
Punjab (1 Lok Sabha seat) – Sangrur
Uttar Pradesh (2 Lok Sabha seats) – Azamgarh and Rampur
Delhi (1 Assembly seat) – Rajinder Nagar
Jharkhand (1 Assembly seat) – Mandar
Andhra Pradesh (1 Assembly seat) – Atmakur
The byelection in Punjab’s Sangrur was necessitated as MP Bhagwant Mann resigned as he became the state’s Chief Minister earlier this year. Mann won the Lok Sabha elections in Sangrur back-to-back in 2014 and 2019. Meanwhile Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh will be going to elections following the resignation of Akhilesh Yadav as he won the Karhal assembly seat in the UP elections this year. On the other hand, Rampur fell vacant after its MP Azam Khan won the assembly election from the same constituency. Tripura will be witnessing byelections as former speaker and Jubarajnagar MLA Ramendra Chandra Debnath passed away, while two BJP MLAs Sudip Roy Barman and Asish Kumar Saha joined Congress, and and BJP MLA Asish Das from Surma defected to Trinamool Congress last year. Earlier this year, Das left TMC as well.
The Atmakur constituency will go to bypolls on June 23 following the death of Commerce and Information Technology minister and YSR Congress MLA Mekapati Goutham Reddy. Delhi’s Rajinder Nagar constituency will be witnessing a byelection as AAP MLA Raghav Chadha got elected to the Rajya Sabha. The election in Jharkhand’s Mandar constituency was necessitated after the Congress MLA Bandhu Tirkey was disqualified following his conviction in a corruption case.
Lok Sabha and Assembly byelections – Key Contests
The BJP has gone with OBC candidates in both Azamgarh and Rampur considering the fact that both seats have maximum OBC and Muslim population. Azam Khan’s close aide Asim Raza will take on BJP’s Dinesh Lal Yadav in the Azamgarh Lok Sabha bypolls, while Mayawati’s BSP party has decided not to field any candidate. Three-time former MP Dharmendra Yadav from SP is pitted against famous Bhojpuri actor BJP’s ‘Nirahua’ who had lost to Akhilesh Yadav from the same seat back in 2019. The seat will be witnessing a three-way contest as BSP has fielded Shah Alam alias Guddu Jamali, who is a former two-time legislator from the Mubarakpur seat in Azamgarh.
AAP stronghold Sangrur will be witnessing a three-way contest between AAP’s Gurmail Singh, who is the party’s district chief, Congress’ Dalvir Singh Goldy, who was Dhuri’s MLA and ex-Barnala legislator Kewal Dhillon, who will be representing BJP. Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal has fielded Kamaldeep Kaur, sister of Balwant Singh Rajoana, a convict in former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh’s murder. Two-time MP and SAD’s Amristar chief Simranjit Singh Mann is also fighting from the same constituency. Opposition parties have campaigned around the killing of Sidhu Moosewala, blaming the ruling AAP party for the worsening law and order situation in the state.
The bypolls are being seen as a litmus test for Chief minister Dr Manik Saha, barely a year ahead of the state assembly elections. In a state ridden with factionalism and anti-incumbency that eventually led to the stepping down of his predecessor Biplab Deb, Saha will be fighting his first Assembly elections from the Bardowali constituency. Saha will face an uphill task as he is up against five-time MLA Sudip Roy Barman, who is now with Congress.
Of the four seats that are going to the polls, three were with BJP already and the fourth one belonged to the Communist Party of India (Marxist).