Seven assembly constituencies in six states will elect new legislators in byelections on Thursday, with Telangana and Bihar staging two of the more keenly watched races. These fights are symptomatic of the bitter territorial war between the BJP and regional parties.
- The BJP and the TRS, the party of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, are poised for a high-stakes fight in Telangana as a result of the latter’s accusations of attempts to poach its MLAs with eye-popping sums of money.
- After the Congress MLA in Telangana’s Manugode resigned and joined the BJP, a byelection was ordered. RK Rajagopal Reddy of the BJP, former MLA Kusukuntla Prabhakar Reddy of the TRS, and Congress’ Palvai Sravanthi are the main contenders in the race.
- With a significant victory, the TRS, which was recently renamed Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS), hopes to prove its supremacy in state politics and gain national attention. In addition to dampening its goals, a defeat would give the opposition more confidence before the assembly elections.
- The newest “Grand Alliance” of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, created less than three months ago after his party split from the BJP and teamed up with Tejashwi Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress, will face its first electoral test in Bihar. In the state, byelections are being contested in the former RJD and BJP strongholds of Mokama and Gopalganj, respectively.
- Following his younger son Kuldeep Bishnoi’s resignation as MLA from the constituency and transfer from the Congress to the BJP in August, former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal’s family will be attempting to hang onto its bastion of five decades in Adampur, Haryana.
- Bhavya Bishnoi, a candidate for the ruling BJP, is now running against former Union Minister Jai Prakash, a three-term MP and two-term MLA for the Congress.
- The BJP will fight for the Gola Gorakhnath seat in Uttar Pradesh, which became vacant after MLA Arvind Giri passed away. The Congress and Mayawati’s BSP will not be participating in the election, leaving the BJP and Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party to square off.
- In Odisha, where a by-election was required due to the passing of the party’s MLA Bishnu Charan Sethi, the BJP will also be hoping to keep Dhamnagar. The former MLA’s son is standing for the party in opposition to the Biju Janata Dal of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, which has increased its influence in the area since the last elections.