JAIPUR: Bypolls in Sujangarh, Sahara and Rajsamand assembly constituencies will be held on April 17 and results will be announced on May 2. Bypolls in Vallabhgarh will be held later this year.
The Election Commission announced bypolls to 14 assembly seats — three in Rajasthan, two in Karnataka and one each in Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Telangana and Uttarakhand — and two Lok Sabha seats — one each in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka — on Tuesday.
The four seats became vacant due to the deaths of sitting MLAs — Kailash Trivedi (Sahara, died on October 6, 2020), Bhanwarlal Meghwal (Sujangarh, died on October 16, 2020), Kiran Maheshwari (Rajsamand, died on November 30, 2020) and Gajendra Singh Shaktawat (Vallabhgarh, died on January 20, 2021). Of the three poll-bound seats, Congress is defending two —Sujangarh and Sahara — while the BJP will be defending Rajsamand.
Both the major parties – BJP and Congress — are considering the polls to be a verdict of people on the performance of the ruling party since it is coinciding with half-term of the government. The model code of conduct has come into force in the poll-bound seats and will last till May 2.
Chief minister Ashok Gehlot had announced sops for the poll-bound seats and laid the foundation stones of several projects on February 20. BJP state president Satish Poonia has already completed the first round of campaigning in all four seats in February.
The elections will see smaller parties such as the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party and Bharatiya Tribal Party contest alongside the major parties. The Election Commission has declared the cut-off date for the voter rolls as January 1. Those voters who were added thereafter will not be able to cast their votes. Sources said 6.5 lakh people are expected to cast votes. “The Election Commission will run a special campaign for creating awareness on Covid protocol during the polls,” said an officer.