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After MCD, Eyes Set on High-Stake Gujarat, HP Assembly Poll Results on Thursday

Newsclick/PTI |
Counting will be simultaneously held for Mainpuri LS seat and 6 Assembly bypolls in five states.
A voter gets her finger marked with indelible ink before casting her vote for the MCD polls, at a polling station in Majnu-ka-tilla area, in North Delhi

A voter gets her finger marked with indelible ink before casting her vote for the MCD polls, at a polling station in Majnu-ka-tilla area, in North Delhi. Image Courtesy: PTI

New Delhi: After Delhi civic polls results saw AAP ending the 15-year rule of BJP in the MCD, all eyes are now set on the high-stake Assembly election results in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, where counting will take place on Thursday. In both the states, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the incumbent party and is seeking to retain power.

Votes will also be counted on Thursday for the bye-elections for one Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh’s Mainpuri and six Assembly seats in five states.


Ahmedabad: The ruling BJP in Gujarat is aiming for a straight seventh term in the state.

It was a high-stakes three-cornered fight between BJP, Congress and AAP. Political observers said the outcome will determine who captures the main opposition space in Gujarat.

Exit polls have predicted a big majority for BJP in Gujarat and if these projections are any indication, the saffron party is all set to retain power in the state for the seventh consecutive term and equal Left Front’s feat in West Bengal.

For the BJP, a positive result will boost Narendra Modi’s bid for a third consecutive term as Prime Minister in 2024.

For the Congress, its role as the main challenger to BJP is at stake and Thursday’s results will reveal if the party’s ‘silent campaign’ has cut ice with people, an observer said.

For AAP, which carried out an aggressive campaign, Gujarat election is a chance to establish itself as a pan-national party and a challenger to BJP at the national level also.

Emboldened by the victory in the Delhi municipal elections, AAP hopes that its welfare politics will be accepted by the people in Gujarat.

Among the key issues in the elections were unemployment, price rise, water not reaching certain pockets of the state, land acquisition for big projects and farmers not getting proper compensation for crop damage due to excess rains.

The voting percentage this time around was almost 4% less than what it was in 2017 as the state recorded 64.33 % voting against 68.39 % in 2017.

The counting of votes will start at 8 a.m on Thursday at 37 counting centres covering the 182 Assembly seats, Chief Electoral Officer P Bharathi said.

Apart from the main rivals BJP, Congress and AAP, 101 candidates from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), and 26 from Bharatiya Tribal party (BTP) also contested.

In the 2017 Assembly polls, BJP won 99 seats and Congress 77 seats, while two seats went to BTP, one to NCP, and three to independents.

Himachal Pradesh

Shimla: More than 10,000 security personnel, returning officers, and other support staff will oversee the counting of votes for the Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls.

The counting will start at 8 am in 68 counting halls spread across 59 locations throughout the state, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Maneesh Garg said.

 About 76.44% voters had exercised their franchise in the Assembly polls held on November 12. 

After exit polls indicated a hung Assembly, both the ruling BJP and Opposition Congress claimed they would get more than 40 seats in the 68-member House.

Exit polls had on Monday predicted a dead heat in Himachal Pradesh, with a range of 24-41 seats for the BJP and 20-40 seats for the Congress. The majority mark is 35 seats. 

Bypolls: Mainpuri, 6 Assembly Seats

New Delhi/Lucknow: Counting of votes will be held on Thursday for by-elections in six Assembly constituencies in five states and the high-profile Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat, where the Samajwadi Party is locked in a battle for prestige with the BJP.

Rampur and Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh, Padampur in Odisha, Sardarshahar in Rajasthan, Kurhani in Bihar and Bhanupratappur in Chhattisgarh are the assembly seats where results will be declared on December 8, coinciding with the ballot count for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections.

A high-stakes contest was witnessed in Uttar Pradesh's Mainpuri seat, where the bye-election was necessitated by the demise of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav in October, and in Rampur Sadar seat that fell vacant due to senior SP leader Azam Khan's disqualification.

Mulayam Singh Yadav's elder daughter-in-law SP chief Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple Yadav is the SP candidate in Mainpuri, a pocket borough of the Yadav family, while BJP has fielded Raghuraj Singh Shakya, a former confidant of Mulayam's brother Shivpal Singh Yadav.

With the Congress and the BSP keeping away from the bypolls in Uttar Pradesh, it would be a direct fight between the BJP and SP and its ally Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) in all three Assembly seats.

Azam Khan, who was the Rampur MLA, was disqualified by the Assembly Speaker after he was convicted and sentenced to three-year imprisonment in a case of hate speech registered against him in April 2019.

While Sardarshahar in Rajasthan and Bhanupratappur in Chhattisgarh were held by the Congress, the BJP had won in Khatauli and the SP held Rampur. Padampur in Odisha was with the Biju Janata Dal and Kurhani in Bihar was held by the Rashtriya Janata Dal.

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