Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) candidate Neelam Devi on Sunday (November 6) won the Mokama assembly seat in Bihar, defeating BJP’s Sonam Devi.
Latest trends of counting in the bypolls of seven assembly constituencies across six states showed the BJP to be leading Uttar Pradesh’s Gola Gokrannath, Haryana’s Adampur, Bihar’s Gopalganj and Odisha’s Dhamnagar.
The K Chandrashekar’s Rao’s Telangana Rashtriya Samithi (TRS), meanwhile, is leading in Munugode but the BJP is narrowing down the margin in round 4 of the counting. It is trailing the TRS by just 700 votes. Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction is set for a win in Mumbai’s Andheri East seat.
The counting of votes is underway in the seven constituencies including former chief minister Bhajan Lal’s family bastion Admapur in Haryana.
Bypolls were held in two seats in Bihar, and one each in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Telangana and Odisha. The BJP held three of the seven seats, while the Congress held two and the Shiv Sena and RJD had one each before the bypolls were held.
For the bypolls in Bihar, the main contest is between the BJP and the RJD, and the RJD is ahead by 12,000 votes. RJD candidate Neelam Devi, wife of Anant Singh who was disqualified after being convicted of illegally keeping guns, is leading in Mokama. But the trend is opposite in Gopalganj, where BJP’s Kusum Devi is ahead of RJD’s Mohan Prasad Gupta after Round 9 by about 1,600 votes.
The saffron party’s main contenders in Haryana are the Congress, INLD and the AAP. Main contestants Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Samajwadi Party and the BJD are taking on the BJP in Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha respectively.
Gopalganj – Bihar
In the Gopalganj constituency of Bihar, RJD candidate Mohan Prasad Gupta is trying to wrest power from the BJP. He is pitted against BJP’s Kusum Devi, whose husband’s death necessitated the bypolls in the seat. In Gopalganj, BJP is leading by 1640 votes at the end of fourth round of counting
Adampur – Haryana
In Haryana, former chief minister Bhajan Lal’s grandson Bhavya Bishnoi, who contested on a BJP ticket after leaving the Congress, is eyeing the family seat of Adampur. The bypoll was announced after Bhavya’s father Kuldeep Bishnoi resigned from the seat after defecting to the BJP. The BJP is leading here by nearly 6,000 after 3 rounds with Bhavya Bishnoi (BJP) at 17633 and Congress’ Jai Parkash at 11398 votes.
The Adampur seat has been held by the Bhajan Lal family since 1968, with the late ex-chief minister representing it on nine occasions, his wife Jasma Devi once, and Kuldeep on four occasions.
UP and Odisha
The BJP is seeking to retain the Gola Gokarannath seat in Uttar Pradesh and Dhamnagar in the BJD-ruled Odisha, banking on sympathy votes as it has fielded the sons of sitting MLAs whose death necessitated the bypolls.
The Gola Gokarannath seat fell vacant after the death of BJP MLA Arvind Giri on September 6. With the BSP and the Congress keeping away from the bypolls, there seems to be a direct fight between the BJP’s Aman Giri and the SP candidate – former Gola MLA Vinay Tiwari.
The BJD has fielded Abanti Das, the lone woman among the total five candidates in Odisha’s Dhamnagar. BJP MLA Bishnu Charan Sethi’s death necessitated the by-election. The saffron party has fielded Sethi’s son Suryabanshi Suraj.
The BJP and the ruling TRS had been campaigning aggressively in Munugode in Telangana, where the Congress MLA had resigned and is fighting on the saffron party’s ticket.
Shiv Sena’s Rutuja Latke is expected to comfortably win Andheri East Assembly constituency in Mumbai after the BJP withdrew from the contest which is the first after the recent split in the Shiv Sena following a rebellion by Eknath Shinde, who replaced Thackeray as the Maharashtra chief minister.
The NCP and Congress have supported her candidature. The by-election was necessitated due to the death of Latke’s husband and Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke in May.
(With inputs from agencies)