Together with a pitched battle for the Bihar state elections between the National Democratic Alliance and the Opposition Grand Alliance, or Mahagathbandhan, votes will be counted on Tuesday for 58 meeting seats across 11 states, with Madhya Pradesh accounting for just about half of them, as India ends its first major electoral exercise all the way through the Covid-19 pandemic.
The only Lok Sabha seat to be determined is this round of polling is Bihar’s Valmiki Nagar, where an election used to be necessitated after the death in February of Janata Dal (United) MP Baidyanath Mahto.
Counting will begin at 8 am with social distancing norms at all counting centres, according to the Election Commission of India (ECI).
The stakes are high for the ruling BJP and the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, with the former needing to win no less than eight seats (out of the 28 going to the polls) to keep a simple majority in the state meeting. The BJP, at the present time, has 107 MLAs in a House with an effective strength of 202.
The midway mark after the bypolls will be 115. The Congress, which missing 25 sitting MLAs when they walked out of the party with Jyotiraditya Scindia in March a show of strengthen, has 87 seats. The shift demolished the Kamal Nath government and brought Shivraj Singh Chouhan back to power as chief minister.
In Uttar Pradesh, the bypolls will a test of popularity for the Yogi Adityanath government, as the BJP, which has a comfortable majority in the state meeting, is contesting on seven seats — six of which it won in the 2017 elections; some of the seats up for grabs used to be held by the Samajwadi Party.
The counting of votes will also take place in eight seats in Gujarat, four in Manipur, and one in Haryana — all held by the Congress. The elections to the Gujarat seats were needed after eight Congress MLAs resigned all the way through the Rajya Sabha polls in June.
The by-elections were necessitated in Manipur after Congress MLAs in the four seats resigned from the meeting, quit the party, and switched to the BJP. Whether the BJP wins all four seats, it’s going to get a majority by itself in the 60-member house.
The destiny can also be determined of one seat in Chhattisgarh, two in Jharkhand, and two in Karnataka. None of these elections will have an affect on the status of the state assemblies. But Chhattisgarh’s Marwahi seat, where polls used to be necessitated because of the death of sitting Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) MLA and former CM Ajit Jogi in May, is especially interesting because there is a right away fight between the Congress and the BJP after the nomination of Jogi’s son Amit and daughter-in-law Richa Jogi were rejected on the grounds that their caste papers were not in order. The Marwahi seat is reserved for Scheduled Tribes.
There are another two seats in Nagaland, one in Telangana, and two in Odisha to be determined on Tuesday.
(With agency inputs)