The bypolls are being seen as the first electoral contest between the recently formed Opposition bloc INDIA and the BJP-led NDA.
Polling for bypolls to seven Assembly constituencies across six states began today at 7 am (September 5) amid tight security arrangements in order to fill seats that have fallen vacant. The seven Assembly constituencies are Dumri in Jharkhand, Boxanagar and Dhanpur in Tripura, Ghosi in Uttar Pradesh, Bageshwar in Uttarakhand, Puthuppally in Kerala and Dhupguri in West Bengal.
The bypolls are being seen as the first electoral contest between the recently formed Opposition bloc INDIA and the BJP-led NDA. The counting of votes will be held on September 8.
Here’s why the seats are important:
Dhupguri, West Bengal
In 2021, the BJP won the Dhupguri Assembly seat with a narrow margin of 4300 votes. The party made its first momentous entry into the West Bengal Assembly in 2021 after winning 77 seats compared with just 3 in the previous election.
— ANI (@ANI) September 5, 2023
In Dhupguri, the BJP’s Bishnu Pada Ray defeated the Trinamool Congress’s Mitali Roy in 2021. The Dhupguri Assembly bypoll is being held in order to fill the seat following the death of BJP MLA Bishu Pada Ray.
The 2023 Dhupguri bypoll will see a three-way fight between the BJP, Trinamool Congress, and Congress-Left alliance.
The BJP has fielded Tapasi Roy, the widow of CRPF jawan Jagannath Roy, who laid down his life in the line of duty in Jammu and Kashmir in 2021. BJP has an edge as former TMC MLA Mitali Roy recently joined the party.
Against the BJP’s candidate, the TMC fielded a professor, Nirmal Chandra Roy, from the seat. The Congress has decided to extend support to the candidate of the CPI (M), Ishwar Chandra Roy, a teacher by profession.
With the Congress supporting the CPI(M) against the TMC, the bypoll will see a contest between INDIA bloc members.
Dhanpur and Boxanagar, Tripura
Unlike West Bengal, the Dhanpur and Boxanagar bypolls in Tripura will be one-on-one contests between CPI (M) and the ruling BJP. The Congress and the Tipra Motha have not fielded candidates in either of the seats, giving an edge to CPI (M).
Dhanpur is holding a bypoll since Union minister Pratima Bhoumik resigned as an MLA to retain her Lok Sabha seat. Dhanpur, once a strong bastion of the Left, will witness a contest between BJP’s Bindu Debnath and CPI (M)’s Koushik Chandra.
The Dhanpur assembly constituency, once considered a stronghold of the Left, will witness a fight between BJP’s Bindu Debnath and Kaushik Debnath of CPI(M). There are 50,346 eligible voters.
The BJP won the seat for the first time in the assembly poll held seven months ago.
In Boxanagar, the BJP has nominated Taffajal Hussain, who earlier lost to CPI (M) in the recently concluded Assembly elections.