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Big Win for Mulayam’s ‘Badi Bahu’ Dimple & Azam Khan’s Critic? All Eyes on Counting of Votes in Mainpuri, 6 Assembly Seats

to win the bastion long held by Akhilesh Yadav’s party.

The counting on bypolls to six assembly constituencies in five states including UP and Bihar and the crucial Mainpuri parliamentary seat will start at 8 am today.

Rampur Sadar and Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh, Padampur in Odisha, Sardarshahar in Rajasthan, Kurhani in Bihar and Bhanupratappur in Chhattisgarh are the assembly seats where the bypolls took place on Monday.

All eyes are on the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat which was represented by Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav five times in the past. The election is a battle of prestige for Akhilesh Yadav whose wife Dimple Yadav is contesting the polls. She is pitted against BJP’s Raghuraj Singh Shakya, a former confidant of Mulayam’s brother Shivpal Singh Yadav.

In Chhattisgarh’s Bhanupratappur, a voter turnout of 71.74 percent was recorded in the by-election on Monday. Seven candidates are in the fray for the bypoll in the constituency including BJP candidate Brahmanand Netam and Congress nominee Savitri Mandavi. The byelection has been necessitated due to the death of Congress MLA and state Assembly’s Deputy Speaker Manoj Singh Mandavi after a heart attack on October 16.

In Uttar Pradesh’s Rampur Sadar and Khatauli assembly seats, there is a direct contest between the ruling BJP and the opposition Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) alliance. The BSP and the Congress are not contesting the seats. The bypolls in Rampur Sadar and Khatauli were necessitated after SP MLA Azam Khan and BJP MLA Vikram Singh Saini were disqualified following their conviction in separate cases.

While Khan was disqualified after a court awarded him three-year imprisonment in a 2019 hate speech case, Saini lost his membership of the assembly after his conviction in a 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots case.

The outcomes of the bypolls will not have any impact on the central or the state governments as the BJP enjoys a comfortable majority at both levels. However, a win would provide a psychological advantage ahead of the 2024 parliamentary elections.

A win for SP could also provide some consolation for Akhilesh Yadav after the defeat in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections early this year and the loss of Azamgarh and Rampur Lok Sabha seats to the BJP in June bypolls.

In Rajasthan’s Sardarshahar, the Congress has fielded the late Sharma’s son Anil Kumar while the BJP has fielded former MLA Ashok Kumar. The bypoll was necessitated following the demise of Congress MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma, who passed away on October 9 after prolonged illness.

In the Kurhani assembly segment in Bihar, the success of JD(U) candidate Manoj Singh Kushwaha, a former MLA, will cement Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s position, while a loss may embolden his detractors. The JD(U) is contesting the seat where the by-election has been necessitated by the disqualification of RJD MLA Anil Kumar Sahani.

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