Updated: Jul 19
Byelections for three Lok Sabha and seven assembly seats are underway in six states, with results expected on June 26. Azamgarh and Rampur in Uttar Pradesh, and Sangrur in Punjab, are the three Lok Sabha seats up for election. Rajinder Nagar in Delhi, Mandar in Jharkhand, Atmakur in Andhra Pradesh, and Agartala, Town Bordowali, Surma, and Jabarajnagar in Tripura are the seven assembly seats.
Sangrur, Azamgarh, and Rampur are three key seats where voting is taking place. The AAP has nominated Gurmail Singh for the Sangrur seat, which became vacant after Bhagwant Mann became chief minister, while the Congress has nominated Dalvir Singh Goldy and the BJP has nominated Kewal Dhillon. Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) has fielded its chief Simranjit Singh Mann against Kamaldeep Kaur of Shiromani Akali Dal. Kaur is the sister of Balwant Singh Rajoana, who was convicted of the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.
In Azamgarh, which was left vacant by SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, the fight is between Akhilesh's cousin Dharmendra Yadav, BJP's Dinesh Lal Yadav aka Nirahua, and Bahujan Samaj Party's Shah Alam aka Guddu Jamali. In Rampur, Azam Khan's former constituency, Khan's loyalist Asim Raza is running against Ghanshyam Lodhi of the BJP. Congress is not contesting the election.
Sangrur: Polling began at 8 a.m. and will continue until 6 p.m., officials said, adding that vote counting will take place on June 26. The Sangrur parliamentary constituency has 15,69,240 eligible voters, including 8,30,056 men, 7,39,140 women, and 44 transgender people.
There are 16 candidates in total, three of whom are women. The byelections come at a time when the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is under fire from the Opposition over the law and order issue and the death of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moose Wala.
Over 35 lakh people are eligible to vote in the bypolls, which will decide the fate of 19 candidates in Azamgarh and Rampur. The polling station opened at 7 a.m. and will remain open until 6 p.m., according to the Chief Electoral Officer's office.
According to an official statement issued here by the Election Commission, it has delegated two general and as many expenses, observers to keep an eye on the polls. It also stated that 291 sector magistrates, 40 zonal magistrates, and 433 micro-observers have been assigned.
A sufficient number of central and state forces have been deployed to ensure the security and peaceful conduct of the elections. Central forces have been given responsibility for the security of EVMs and strongrooms. Officials say 13 candidates are running in Azamgarh, where 18.38 lakh people are eligible to vote. Six candidates are running in Rampur, which has 17.06 lakh registered voters.
In Azamgarh, there are 9,70,249 men, 8,67,942 women, and 36 third-gender voters out of 18.38 lakh registered voters. Officials said 2,176 booths have been set up at the constituency's 1,149 polling stations, where an estimated 15% of the residents are Muslim. The SP won all four assembly constituencies in this Lok Sabha seat—Azamgarh, Mubarakpur, Saudi, Gopalpur, and Mehnagar—in the recent assembly elections. During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the SP and the BSP allied, and Akhilesh Yadav easily won, receiving 6.21 lakh votes to the BJP's Dinesh Lal Yadav Nirahua's 3.61 lakh votes.
Rajinder Nagar, Delhi: Voting began Thursday morning for the bypoll to Rajinder Nagar in Delhi, which is widely expected to be a battle between a confident AAP and a spirited BJP for the crucial assembly constituency. A total of 1,64,698 voters are eligible to vote in the bye-election, which features 14 candidates, with water scarcity and the city government's liquor policy among the key election issues.
The two major contenders, the AAP and the BJP have expressed confidence that their candidates will win the bypoll by a wide margin. Polling began at 7 a.m. amid tight security arrangements and will continue until 6 p.m.
Jharkhand: Polling for the Mandar assembly seat in Jharkhand's Ranchi district began at 7 a.m., amid tight security, according to an election official. Voting is taking place in 433 polling stations, with 141 booths designated as hyper-sensitive, 218 as sensitive, and 55 as vulnerable, according to him, who added that voting will continue until 4 p.m.
Over 3.54 lakh voters, including 1.75 lakh women, are eligible to vote in the by-election to determine the electoral fate of 14 candidates. On June 26, the votes will be counted. Over 3,000 security personnel have been deployed, including Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP), CRPF, and SSB.
The by-election was called after Bandhu Tirkey was disqualified as an MLA following his conviction in a corruption case. The Congress has nominated Bandhu's daughter, Shilpa Neha Turkey, as the JMM-led alliance's common candidate, while the BJP has nominated former legislator Gangotri Kujur for the seat.
Dev Kumar Dhan, an independent candidate supported by Asaduddin Owaisi's All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), is also running.
Tripura: Tripura by-elections for four assembly seats have begun, according to an election official. Polling for the seats of Agartala, Town Bardowali, Surma, and Jubarajnagar is underway in 221 booths and will continue until 5 p.m.
Apart from the Tripura State Rifles (TSR), a total of 25 central forces companies have been deployed. A total of 1,89,032 voters are eligible to vote to determine the electoral fate of the 25 candidates in the race.
Sudip Roy Barman and Asish Saha left the BJP and joined the Congress in February, necessitating by-elections in Agartala and Town Bardowali. The Surma seat in the Dhalai district became vacant after BJP legislator Asish Das was disqualified by Speaker Ratan Chakraborty, and a by-election to Jubarajnagar was required due to the death of sitting CPI(M) MLA Ramendra Chandra Debnath.
Chief Minister Manik Saha, who is not a member of the assembly, is running against Congress nominee Asish Saha in the Town Bardowali constituency. The Trinamool Congress and the Left Front have both fielded candidates for all four seats. On June 26, the votes will be counted.