New Delhi: The Election Commission on Tuesday announced the schedule and dates for bye-elections to 56 Assembly constituencies and one Parliamentary seat. The voting for these constituencies will be held on November 3 and 7 and the counting will be done on November 10. The results, however, will be declared on November 12.
The biggest chunk of Assembly seats that will go to bypolls is in Madhya Pradesh (28), followed by Gujarat (8), Uttar Pradesh (7), Karnataka, Jharkhand, Manipur Nagaland and Odisha (2 each) and Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Telangana (1 each).
The parliamentary constituency that will go to elections is Valmiki Nagar in Bihar, which fell vacant after the death of B P Mahato of Janata Dal (United) in February. Polls here will be held on November 7.
However, the Election Commission has held back bye-elections in seven Assembly constituencies -- Assam (2), Kerala (2), Tamil Nadu (2) and West Bengal 1) -- citing difficulties reported by state chief secretaries with regard to the conduct of polls. Also, in view of the term of the Assemblies in these states anyway coming to an end in mid-2021, the EC said it had decided not to conduct elections at this stage.
In Madhya Pradesh, the number of seats up for bypolls is the highest as these fell vacant in March when former Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia switched over to Bharatiya Janata Party along with his loyalists, leading to the fall of the Congress-led Kamal Nath government.
The bye-election in MP is, therefore, seen as crucial to test the political equations in the state after the re-installation of the BJP government, headed by Shivraj Chouhan, with help from Congress defectors.