Polling has begun for by-elections for eight assembly and four Lok Sabha constituencies in Assam, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu on Saturday.
This is a major test for the ruling BJP after demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. Authorities have made elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of the polls.
Voter Turneout by 3pm
Arunachal Pradesh -50.20%
West Bengal- 59.75%
Voting underway in Assam
In Assam, voting is taking place across 2,200 polling stations in the parliamentary constituency of Lakhimpur and assembly constituency of Baithalangso. While the Lakhimpur Lok Sabha seat has been vacant since sitting MP Sarbananda Sonowal resigned to become the chief minister, Baithalangso’s legislator Mansing Rongpi resigned from the Congress and joined the BJP thus resulting in a vacant position.
In Assam, more than 1.7 million electors will seal the fate of eight candidates in the fray for the Lakhimpur Lok Sabha constituency and Baithalangso assembly constituency.
Assam: People queue up to vote for Lakhimpur lok sabha bypoll pic.twitter.com/soUuooTUON— ANI (@ANI_news) November 19, 2016
Voting underway in Tripura
By-poll in two Tripura Assembly seats-Barjala and Khowai began on a peaceful note amidst tight security.For purposes of peaceful polling nine companies ofcentral paramilitary forces, including Border Security Force (BSF) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been deployed in the two constituencies and their adjoining areas.
State forces, including Tripura State Rifles and state police have also been deployed. The Election Commission has appointed three central observes to oversee the polling in the two seats.
Results of the two constituencies would be announced on November 22.
Voting underway in West Bengal
Voting for by-elections in two Lok Sabha constituencies and one assembly seat in West Bengal began on Saturday under the shadow of the Centre's demonetisation drive.
West Bengal: People queue up to vote for Cooch Behar lok sabha bypoll pic.twitter.com/0VHrRrnHkX— ANI (@ANI_news) November 19, 2016
The by-elections are being held in Cooch Behar and Tamluk Lok Sabha constituencies and Monteswar assembly constituency. Ruling Trinamool Congress, BJP, Left Front and Congress have fielded their candidates in the three seats. Although the Congress and CPI(M)-led Left Front had contested the April-May assembly polls, the two decided to part company in this round of by-elections.
Voting underway in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry
Amid tight security, voting began on Saturday for polls in Thanjavur, Aravakkurichi and for bypolls in Thirupparankundram in Tamil Nadu and the lone Nellithope seatin neighbouring Puducherry.
Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, a non-member of the House, is taking on AIADMK candidate Om Sakthi Segar, at Nellithope. Local poll officials said the voting percentage was between eight and ten approximately in the first hour. Polling began at 7AM
Tamil Nadu: Voting underway for Thiruparankundram(Madurai) assembly bypoll pic.twitter.com/2o3h7lcdCI— ANI (@ANI_news) November 19, 2016
Rangasamy (AIADMK) and DMK's Anjugam Bhoopathy are main contenders in Thanjavur. In Aravakkurichi, Senthil Balaji (AIADMK) and KC Palanisamy (DMK) are in the fray while AIADMK's AK Bose is pitted against DMK's Saravanan in Thirupparankundram.
Chief Minister and AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa, undergoing treatment at Apollo Hospitals, has urged people to vote for her party in the three constituencies and lone seat in Puducherry.
Voting underway in Maharashtra
Polling began this morning in the biennial election for six seats in the Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC) from as many local bodies, where all majorparties are in the fray. The polling started at 8 AM and will continue till 4 PM.
Counting of votes will take place on November 22. Elected members of municipal corporations and councils are voting in these polls to choose six candidates for the Upper House. The six-year term of sitting legislators - four from NCP, one each from Congress and BJP - ends on December 5.
NCP is at present holding Sangli-Satara, Yavatmal, Bhandara-Gondia and Pune seats, while Congress has Nanded and BJP Jalgaon. Congress and NCP are contesting the polls separately.
While NCP has withdrawn its candidate in Yavatmal and extended support to Shiv Sena, Congress has fielded candidates in Nanded, Sangli-Satara, Yavatmal, Bhandara-Gondia and Pune.
The Sharad Pawar-led party is contesting Sangli-Satara, Pune and Bhandara-Gondia seats and backing Independent candidate Shyamsunder Shinde in Nanded, and nominees of Sena and BJP in Yavatmal and Jalgaon respectively. While BJP has fielded its candidates in Jalgaon, Bhandara-Gondia and Pune, Sena's nominee is in fray inYavatmal.
There are 688 voters in Pune, 440 in Yavatmal, 472 in Nanded, 570 in Satara-Sangli, 550 in Jalgaon and 393 in Bhandara-Gondia.
Voting underway in Madhay Pradesh
By election to Shahdol Lok Sabha constituency and Nepanagar assembly seat in MP is a significant test for the ruling BJP after demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes took place today. According to officials, elaborate arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the by-polls.
Madhya Pradesh: Voting underway for Shahdol lok sabha bypoll pic.twitter.com/u0pS3YjxV1— ANI (@ANI_news) November 19, 2016
Voting underway in Arrunachal
By-polls are also being held for the Khowai and Barjala assembly seats in Tripura and Hayuliang assembly seat in Arunachal Pradesh.
North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) candidate Dasanglu Pul is contesting on the BJP ticket. Notably, Dasanglu Pul is the wife of former chief minister Kalikho Pul, who committed suicide in August under mysterious conditions. By-elections to Hayuliang Assembly constituency in remote Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh are taking place toda