NEW DELHI: The counting of votes for the by-election held recently in four assembly seats in Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh will be held on Friday.
Following an announcement by the Election Commission, the by-election in four assembly seats - Dantewada, Pala, Badharghat and Hamirpur respectively - in Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh was held on September 23.
The poll panel had taken the decision to hold the by-election after taking into consideration various factors like local festivals, electoral rolls and weather conditions. The polling was conducted using EVMs and VVPATs.
The bypoll to the Naxal-affected Dantewada Assembly constituency was necessitated due to the death of BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi in a Naxal attack in April.
A total of 1,88,263 voters, including 89,747 men and 98,876 women, were found eligible to exercise their franchise in the constituency in 273 polling stations.
A massive security blanket of around 18,000 personnel, including those from paramilitary forces, and drones was thrown around the Dantewada Assembly segment, which is part of the insurgency-hit Bastar region, for conducting peaceful polling. Nine candidates were in the fray for the seat, which was the only one in Bastar division that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) managed to win in last year's Assembly election.
Both the ruling Congress and the BJP fielded candidates who have been victims of Naxal violence, with the former pitting Devi Karma, wife of senior party leader Mahendra Karma who was killed in the Jhiram Valley attack in 2013, against the latter's Ojaswi Mandavi, wife of slain MLA Bhima Mandavi.
The other candidates were - Hemant Poyam (Bahujan Samaj Party), Sujit Karma (Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J)), Bhimsen Mandavi (Communist Party of India), Ajay Nag (Nationalist Congress Party), Ballu Ram Bhawani (Aam Aadmi Party), Yogesh Markam (Gondwana Gantantra Party) and Independent Sudru Ram Kunjam.
The by-poll to the Hamirpur assembly constituency in Uttar Pradesh was necessitated after the disqualification of BJP MLA Ashok Singh Chandel, who was convicted in a murder case in May. The by-poll saw nine candidates jostling to win the seat that the BJP looks to retain after it fell vacant as its legislator was convicted in a murder case.
BJP had fielded Yuvraj Singh, BSP Naushad Ali, Congress Hardeep Nishad and Samajwadi Party Manoj Prajapati. The CPI had fielded Jamal Alam Mansori. There were four Independent candidates in the fray, as well.
The by-election in Kerala's Pala was necessitated due to the death of former Finance Minister and Kerala Congress (M) leader KM Mani, who had held the constituency for more than five decades.
Mani won the seat in 2016 by a margin of 4,703 votes against his rival Mani C Kappen.
While the ruling LDF had fielded its ally, NCP's leader, Mani C Kappen as its candidate, Jose Tom Pulikkunnel of Kerala Congress was the candidate of the Congress-led UDF. BJP's Kottayam district president N Hari is the NDA candidate.
The by-election to the Badharghat constituency in Tripura was necessitated due to the death of ruling BJP MLA Dilip Sarkar in April this year.
The BJP had fielded Mimi Majumder for the seat while Bulti Biswas contested as the CPI (M) candidate. Ratan Das was fielded by the Congress.