Updated: Thu, 23 Jun 2022 12:18 PM IST
Voting began for the politically crucial by-elections in four assembly constituencies in Tripura and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Jharkhand. Apart from the assembly constituencies, voting is also underway on two Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. The four assembly seats in Tripura where voting is underway are Agartala, Town Bardowali, Surma and Jubranagar. In Jharkhand, voting is underway in the Mandar Assembly constituency, while in Delhi, polling began in the Rajinder Nagar Assembly constituency. In Andhra Pradesh, voting is underway in the Atmakur Assembly constituency.
Here are the Updates from By-Polls on seven Assembly constituencies:
Rajinder Nagar (Delhi):
Polling for the bypoll on the Rajinder Nagar seat of the national capital is underway where Aam Aadmi Party and Bharatiya Janata Party are in a direct battle. Till 11 am, 14.85 per cent of voter turnout was recorded on the Rajinder Nagar seat. The seat remained vacated after the Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) Raghav Chadha was nominated for the Rajya Sabha from Punjab on March 21. the Kejriwal government has been criticised by the Opposition for its liquor policy.
The AAP has fielded Durgesh Pathak for filling the Chadha's vacant seat of Rajinder Nagar against the former Bharatiya Janata Party councillor Rajesh Bhatia and Congress' Prem Lata.
Atmakur (Andhra Pradesh):
Polling was underway for the by-election to the Atmakur Assembly seat on Thursday. Voting began at all 279 polling stations in the constituency in Nellore district at 7 am amid tight security and will continue till 6 pm. Till 11 am, a total of 24.92 per cent voter turnout was recorded on the Atmakur seat. A total of 2,13,327 voters comprising 1,07,367 women and 1,05,960 men are eligible to exercise their franchise in the constituency.
The by-election was necessitated by the death of industries minister M. Goutham Reddy in February this year. The ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) has fielded Goutham Reddy's brother M. Vikram Reddy and he is the strong favourite. A total of 14 candidates are in the fray.
Polling is underway for the bye-election in Mandar assembly constituency in Ranchi district amid tight security. Voting would be held in 433 polling booths from 7 am to 4 pm. A total of 29.13 per cent of voter turnout was recorded on the Mandar seat till 11 am. The Congress has fielded Shilpi Neha Tirkey, daughter of Bandhu Tirkey, while the BJP has pitted former MLA Gangotri Kujur against her. BJP rebel candidate Deo Kumar Dhan is contesting the election as an independent candidate supported by All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).
The Mandar seat is a tribal reserved seat with a tribal population of around 1.75 lakh. In the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly, the ruling UPA has 48 MLAs - JMM 30, Congress 17 and RJD one. The NDA has 28 MLAs with BJP having 26 and AJSU two.
Agartala, Town Bardowali, Surma and Jubarajnagar (Tripura):
By-elections to four assembly seats in Tripura began at 7 AM on Thursday amid tight security arrangements. Polling to the Agartala, Town Bardowali, Surma and Jubarajnagar seats is taking place in 221 booths, and it will continue till 5 PM. As many as 1,89,032 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise to decide the electoral fate of 25 candidates in the fray.
The by-elections in Agartala and Town Bardowali constituencies were necessitated after Sudip Roy Barman and Asish Saha quit as BJP MLAs and joined the Congress in February. Surma seat in Dhalai district fell vacant after BJP legislator, Asish Das, was disqualified by Speaker Ratan Chakraborty and by-poll to Jubarajnagar was necessitated following the death of sitting CPI(M) MLA Ramendra Chandra Debnath.
Chief Minister Manik Saha, who is not a member of the assembly, is contesting from Town Bardowali constituency against Congress nominee Asish Saha. Trinamool Congress and Left Front have fielded candidates in all four seats. The votes will be counted on June 26.
Voter turnout till 11 am:
34.26 per cent in Agartala
35.43 per cent in Town Bardowali
33.50 per cent in Surma
29.14 per cent in Jubarajnagar
Updates from Bypolls on Three Lok Sabha Seats:
Rampur and Azamgarh (Uttar Pradesh)
Polling began on Thursday morning in Uttar Pradesh's Azamgarh and Rampur, the Lok Sabha seats considered as the bastions of the Opposition Samajwadi Party in the state. Over 35 lakh people are eligible to vote in the bypolls and will be deciding the fate of 19 candidates. The bypolls to the Azamgarh seat were necessitated by the resignation of Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav, who was elected to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly as an MLA in the elections earlier this year.
The Rampur seat was vacated by senior SP leader Azam Khan, who too was elected to the state Assembly. The polling started at 7 am and will continue till 6 pm. 13 candidates are in the fray from Azamgarh, where 18.38 lakh people are eligible to vote. Six candidates are contesting from Rampur, which has 17.06 lakh voters.
From Rampur, the BJP has fielded Ghanshyam Singh Lodhi, who recently joined the party, while the SP has fielded Asim Raja, handpicked by Khan. The Mayawati-led BSP is not contesting from Rampur. The Azamgarh seat will see a triangular contest among BJP's Dinesh Lal Yadav 'Nirhua', a famous Bhojpuri actor-singer, SP's Dharmendra Yadav and BSP's Shah Alam, also known as Guddu Jamali.
Amidst the opposition heat over the deteriorating law and order situation and the killing of famed singer Sidhu Moosewala, the casting of votes for the bypoll of the Sangrur parliamentary constituency in the AAP-ruled Punjab began on Thursday. The counting of ballots will take place on June 26. A total of 15,69,240 voters will be exercising their franchise at 1,766 polling booths of which 296 are vulnerable.
The bypoll for AAP-stronghold Sangrur was necessitated following the resignation of Bhagwant Mann, who won the Assembly election in February from the Dhuri constituency and became the Chief Minister. The AAP has fielded Mann's confidant Gurmail Singh, 38, while death row convicts Balwant Singh Rajoana's foster sister Kamaldeep Kaur, 44, is in the fray on the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) ticket. The other key contenders are BJP's Kewal Dhillon, 72, and Dalvir Singh Goldy, 40, of the Congress.
Voter turnout in 3 Lok Sabha seats till 11 am:
Sangrur (Punjab): 12.75 per cent
Rampur (Uttar Pradesh): 18.81 per cent
Azamgarh (Uttar Pradesh): 19.84 per cent