The counting of votes for the by-elections to one Lok Sabha seat in West Bengal’s Asansol and four Assembly seats in Ballygunge in Bengal, Khairagarh in Chhattisgarh, Bochahan in Bihar and Kolhapur North in Maharashtra will be taken up on Saturday.
For the BJP, it would be a challenge to retain the Asansol seat and spring a surprise in Ballygunge constituency, a TMC stronghold. For the ruling TMC, it is a litmus test to win the Asansol constituency for the first time and retain the Ballygunge seat.
The poll on all five seats was held on April 12. While Asansol recorded a turnout of 64.03 per cent, Ballygunge assembly constituency saw an even lower turnout of 41 per cent.
BJP’s Lok Sabha bypoll candidate Agnimitra Paul alleged that TMC workers thrashed her security personnel and pelted stones at her convoy during the day. The TMC, on the other hand, alleged that Paul and her security personnel tried to create disturbance in the area.
The Asansol seat fell vacant after former Union minister Babul Supriyo resigned as the BJP Member of Parliament from the seat from where he won the election in 2014 and the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. He has been made the TMC candidate from the Ballygunge Assembly constituency in Kolkata, which fell vacant after the resignation of former state minister and veteran party leader Subrata Mukherjee in November last year.
The bypoll to the Bochahan assembly seat in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur was necessitated by the death of MLA Musafir Paswan, who had won on the ticket of Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) of Bollywood set designer-turned-politician Mukesh Sahani.
Sahani, who initially wanted to field the deceased MLA’s son Amar, recently lost his ministerial berth, and subsequently lost the trust of his prospective candidate. Amar jumped ship and is now in the fray as the candidate of the RJD, which his father had defeated to win the seat.
Sahani has now fielded Gita Devi, whose father Ramai Ram was the RJD candidate in the 2020 assembly polls.
The BJP, the former benefactor of Sahani who now seeks to prove a point after having got his scalp, has fielded Baby Kumari who enjoys the image of a giant killer in the constituency.
She had won the seat in 2015, contesting as an Independent, defeating Ramai Ram who had represented Bochahan multiple times and on tickets of various parties.
For the bypoll in Khairagarh assembly constituency seat in Chhattisgarh, the ruling Congress and opposition BJP are locked in a straight fight. A total of 10 candidates are in the fray.
The bypoll was necessitated following the death of JCC (J) legislator and former MP Devvrat Singh last November.
The Kolhapur North assembly segment fell vacant after the death of Congress’s Chandrakant Kadam in December 2021. Jadhav had defeated Shiv Sena’s Rajan Kshirsagar in the 2019 polls.
Congress has fielded Kadam’s wife Jayashree and BJP has fielded Satyajit Shivaji Kadam- nephew of party spokesperson Dhananjay Mahadik as its candidate. The results will be declared on April 16.