By-polls for 20 seats in 7 states, 2nd test after LS polls

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 9, 2009 - 18:49

New Delhi: By-elections to 20 assembly seats
spread over seven states including seven each in Bihar and
Gujarat will be held tomorrow in the second major test for
political parties after the recent Lok Sabha polls.

Honours were even for the parties in the first round of
by-elections for 17 seats held last month after the general
elections.

Most of the 20 assembly seats fell vacant after the MLAs
there got elected to the Lok Sabha. Counting of votes will be
taken up on September 14.

Besides the 7 seats each in Bihar and Gujarat, elections
will be held for two seats in Madhya Pradesh and one each in
Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Delhi (Dwaraka).
Non-Congress governments are in power in the poll-bound states
except in Delhi and AP.

The polls will be held in Bochaha (SC), Aurai, Kalyanpur,
Warisnagar (SC), Ramgarh, Chainpur and Chenari (SC) (all in
Bihar) and Chotila, Jasdan, Dhoraji, Kodinar, Dehgam, Sami and
Danta (all in Gujarat) seats.

The Congress is contesting the elections on its own from
all the seven seats in Bihar. All the constituencies in the
state are witnessing a multi-cornered fight. Some of the Bihar
seats are in Naxal-hit areas.

Assembly constituencies of Gohad and Tendukheda (in MP),
Tekkali (Andhra Pradesh), Namchi Singithong (Sikkim),
Vikasnagar (Uttarakhand) and Dwarka (Delhi) also goes to polls
tomorrow.

Polling will be through Electronic Voting Machines(EVM).

Campaigning for Gujarat by-polls remained a low key
affair with Chief Minister Narendra Modi staying away from the
campaign.

The results in Gujarat are unlikely to alter the ruling
BJP`s position in the Assembly with the saffron party enjoying
an absolute majority in the House. Congress had won six of the
seven seats going to polls.

The by-elections are also being held in the backdrop of
BJP`s trouble over the Gujarat High Court lifting the state
government`s ban on Jaswant Singh`s book on Muhammad Ali
Jinnah and a metropolitan court probe saying the controversial
Ishrat Jahan encounter was fake and executed in "cold blood"
by the police.

Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters)
Neelmani said in Patna that fool-proof security
arrangements have been made for ensuring free, fair and
peaceful bypolls.

All the polling stations spread over the 7 constituencies
would have "strong presence" of regular forcees including
District Armed Police (DAP), Bihar Military Police (BMP),
Special Task Force (STF) of Bihar police and central
para-military forces, Neelmani said.

The timing of voting at the polling station in Naxal-hit
areas would end at 3 PM to ensure that the electronic voting
machines (EVMs) reach the strong rooms before the evening,
Neelmani said.

Lalu Prasad`s RJD and Ramvilas Paswan`s LJP actively
campaigned for the candidates of the alliance.

In Dwarka in the National Capital, a keen tussle between
Congress and BJP is on the cards.

Bureau Report



First Published: Wednesday, September 9, 2009 - 18:49

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