Keen contest expected in UP assembly bypolls

  • | Monday | 24th June, 2024

A keen contest is likely in the by-elections to 10 assembly seats which have fallen vacant following election of the sitting MLAs to Lok Sabha.  The INDIA bloc, comprising Samajwadi Party and Congress in Uttar Pradesh, made significant gains at the cost of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party by winning 43 Lok Sabha seats in the state. This has put the ruling BJP under tremendous pressure to retain and also regain the lost ground. The bypolls schedule is yet to be announced by the Election Commission of India. However, the SP and Congress have announced that they will contest the assembly bypolls together under the INDIA bloc. The ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance has also begun its preparations. The assembly seats fell vacant after nine MLAs, including SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, were elected to the Lok Sabha while SP MLA from Sisamau Irfan Solanki of Kanpur was disqualified after he was sentenced to jail in a criminal case. UP Assemblys Special Secretary Brajbhushan Dubey said that information about the vacancy on 10 seats had been sent to the ECI. As per the procedure, by-elections can be held on these seats within six months, he said. Five of these assembly seats were won by the SP in 2022 while one seat was bagged by the Rashtriya Lok Dal which was then in alliance with the SP. Three seats were won by the BJP and one seat by BJP ally NISHAD Party. While the by-election results will be numerically inconsequential for the BJP in the state assembly where it has a comfortable majority, they will impact the morale of both sides as any further losses to the BJP will help the opposition SP and Congress to further cement their gains. While the SP and the Congress have expressed confidence that they will continue their winning streak, the BJP is also preparing to do something special in the by-elections to increase its credibility, according to leaders. BJP spokesman Manish Dixit said, The NDA will contest the assembly by-elections with full strength. There is no pressure anywhere, rather the NDA will fight the assembly by-elections with full strength. BJP workers are always ready for public service and elections. The party will fight the elections with all its might and the results will be a special achievement, he added. On the question of giving seats to alliance partners, Dixit said, The party leadership will decide this but at the level of organisation and government, we have started preparing for the elections with full enthusiasm. SP spokesperson and national secretary Rajendra Chaudhary said, Preparations for by-elections have been started on all the vacant seats and in alliance with the Congress party, we will fight the elections with full strength and win. He added, The committee formed for management of the Lok Sabha elections is preparing for these 10 seats and party national president Akhilesh Yadav will form a new committee for this after the Parliament session. In the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the INDIA bloc won 43 seats out of 80 in the state, with 37 seats going to the SP and six to the Congress. On the other hand, the ruling BJP won 33 seats while its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal won two and Apna Dal (Sonelal) bagged one seat. The Bahujan Samaj Party could not open its account in this election. The BJP and its allies had won 73 Lok Sabha seats in UP in 2014 and 64 seats in 2019.  In the 2022 UP assembly elections, the BJP won a total of 273 seats with its allies. Presently, in the 403-member Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly, the BJP has 249 MLAs, its ally Apna Dal (S) has 13, RD has eight, Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party has six and Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal (NISHAD) has five members. The main opposition SP has 103 members and Congress has two. Apart from this, there are two members of the Jansatta Dal (Loktantrik) and one of the BSP. In the by-elections to four assembly constituencies held along with the Lok Sabha elections, two seats each were won by the SP and the BJP, but these MLAs have not yet taken oath. The MLAs from the NDA who were elected to Lok Sabha are RLDs Chandan Chauhan, BJPs Atul Garg, Anoop Valmiki and Praveen Patel, and NISHAD Partys Vinod Kumar Bin. SP chief Akhilesh Yadav along with party MLAs Ziaur Rahman, Lalji Verma and Awadhesh Prasad have also been elected to the Lok Sabha.

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