First bypolls for 14 Assembly, Lok Sabha seats after demonetisation
In a first after demonetisation, the by polls for four Lok Sabha and eight Assembly seats began at 7 AM on Saturday amid tight security after the Election Commission announced dates for bypolls on Monday.
These polls assume significance as the first major ground test for the ruling BJP after demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. It is to be noted that the polling is underway for Lok Sabha Constituencies in Lakhimpur (Assam), Shahdol (Madhya Pradesh), Coochbehar and Tamluk (West Bengal) and for Assembly seats in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Puducherry.
Reportedly, the Election Commission has made required arrangements for the elections to be conducted smoothly.
Among the states vying for seats, Madhya Pradesh is facing elections for Lok Sabha constituency in Shahdol and Assembly seat in Nepanagar. BJP-led state takes a major ground test following the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. Reportedly, according to officials, elaborate arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the by-polls.
In West Bengal, polling began for by-elections to two Lok Sabh constituencies (Cooch Behar and Tamluk) and Assembly seat for Monteshwar. An electorate of nearly 3,524,977, including 1,689,735 females and 38 from the third gender are eligible to choose their representatives from among 23 candidates vying for honours in the election-facing seats.
The polling for Tamil Nadu is for three assembly constituencies Thirupparankundram, Aravakkurichi and Thanjavur. Nearly 7.54 lakh voters are expected to exercise their vote and decide the fate of 81 candidates in the fray in the three constituencies. The main contest is said to be between the AIADMK and the DMK.
In the polling for Arunachal Pradesh, the by-election are being held for Hayuliang Assembly constituency in remote Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh.Both the women candidates have tried their best to woo voters. One of them, standing for BJP, is wife of Kalikho Pul, whose suicide left the seat empty. The constituency with a total electorate of 11,003, including 5,508 female voters, has 81 polling stations of which three–Kibitho, Aphumna and Taflagam–are situated near the International Border with China.
The polling for by-elections in Tripura are being held for assembly seats in Khowai and Barjala. Out of the 52 booths in Khowai, 10 have been designated as ‘A’ category while the rest have been put in the ‘B’ category. In Barjala, where there are 48 polling stations, the ratio stands at 1:3.
In Assam, polling is taking place across 2,200 polling stations in the parliamentary constituency of Lakhimpur and assembly constituency of Baithalangso. The Lakhimpur Lok Sabha constituency has choice of five candidates from BJP, Congress, CPI and Socialist Unity Centre of India
The polling for Puducherry’s Nellithope began to choose between Congress leader V. Narayanasamy and AIADMK nominee Om Shakthi Segar.
It is to be noted that the counting of votes will take place on November 22.