BJP to face Opp bloc INDIA first time in crucical by-polls in six states

Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh.

New Delhi: On September 5, six states are preparing for by-elections, marking the initial demonstration of strength for the Opposition alliance, the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), in its challenge against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). This comes ahead of state assembly elections later this year and the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.

Today, by-elections will be held for seven seats across these states, namely Ghosi in Uttar Pradesh, Dhupguri in West Bengal, Puthuppally in Kerala, Bageshwar in Uttarakhand, Dumri in Jharkhand, and Boxanagar and Dhanpur in Tripura. The results for all seven seats will be counted on September 8.

The need for by-elections in Dhupguri, Puthuppally, Bageshwar, Dumri, and Boxanagar arose due to the unfortunate demise of the sitting MLAs, while the MLAs of Ghosi and Dhanpur resigned from their positions.

In Uttar Pradesh’s Ghosi, the resignation of Dara Singh Chauhan as a Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA triggered the bypolls. Chauhan subsequently joined the BJP, and he is now contesting against SP’s Sudhakar Singh in the by-election.

Singh previously served as an MLA in Ghosi from 2012 to 2017 but lost in subsequent Assembly elections. The Congress is supporting its INDIA coalition partner, SP. This Ghosi by-election holds significant importance for both SP and BJP, marking their first face-off since the formation of the Opposition coalition INDIA.

In Tripura’s Dhanpur, BJP’s Pratima Bhoumik resigned from her MLA position to retain her Lok Sabha seat, leaving the assembly seat vacant. BJP is fielding Bhoumik’s brother, Bindu Debnath, as their candidate against the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) candidate Kaushik Chanda in the by-election.

The Boxanagar seat in Tripura, left vacant due to the passing of CPI(M) MLA Samsul Haque, will witness a contest between CPI(M) and BJP candidates.

In Uttarakhand’s Bageshwar seat, SP, Congress, and BJP are set to compete against each other. The by-election was triggered by the unfortunate demise of BJP MLA Chandan Ram Dass. BJP is nominating Dass’s wife Parwati, while Congress is fielding Basant Kumar, and SP is putting forward Bhagawati Prasad as their candidate.

In Kerala’s Puthuppally, the by-elections were called for following the passing of Congress veteran Oommen Chandy. The Congress-led United Democratic Alliance (UDF) has chosen Oommen Chandy’s son, Chandy Oommen, as their candidate, while the ruling CPI(M) has nominated Jaick C Thomas for this constituency.

In Jharkhand, the Dumri seat became vacant after the passing of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MLA Jagarnath Mahto. In the by-elections, the party is fielding Mahto’s wife Bebi Devi as the INDIA bloc representative against NDA’s Yashoda Devi and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) candidate Abdul Rizvi. The ruling party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, led by Chief Minister Hemant Soren, had previously won the seat in the 2019 Assembly polls.

The Dhupguri assembly seat in West Bengal became vacant after the demise of BJP’s Bishnu Pada Ray. The BJP is nominating Tapasi Roy as their candidate, who will face competition from Trinamool Congress candidate Nirmal Chandra Roy and CPI(M) candidate Ishwar Chandra Roy.

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