Wednesday, Feb 21, 2018 | Last Update : 08:18 PM IST
The bypolls in Uttar Pradesh will be a test for Adityanath as the results will be seen as a reflection on his government’s popularity.
New Delhi: The Election Commission of India announced the dates for byelections to 2 crucial seats in Uttar Pradesh and one in Bihar on Friday.
The Lok Sabha seats vacated by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath (Gorakhpur) and deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya (Phulpur) will go to polls on March 11.
The bypoll to the Araria Lok Sabha seat in Bihar, which fell vacant following the demise of RJD MP Mohammed Taslimuddin, will also be held on the same date.
There has been speculation that BSP supremo Mayawati may contest the Phulpur Lok Sabha election as a joint Opposition candidate. She had resigned from Rajya Sabha last year alleging that she is not being allowed to speak. However there is no official confirmation of her candidature from Phulpur.
The bypolls in UP will be a test for Adityanath as the results will be seen as a reflection on his government's popularity.
It is also going to be an interesting contest in Bihar’s Araria. The Bihar bypoll has assumed an extra significance as this will be first election after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar jettisoned the Congress and the RJD, and joined hands with the BJP.
The Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) had won the seat in 2014 Lok Sabha elections when it was a triangular contest between the BJP, JD(U) and the RJD-Congress alliance. The seat had been won even when the entire country saw the Modi magic. However in the Assembly election in 2015, the JD(U), RJD and Congress came together and formed the government, but the grand alliance could not last long and JD(U) left the alliance and went to the BJP. This bypoll will be the first after the Grand Alliance broke up in 2017.
The notification for the three by elections will be issued on February 13, beginning the process of filing nomination papers. February 20 is the last date of filing papers to contest the elections. While scrutiny of papers will be held on February 21, candidates can withdraw from electoral battle till February 23. While votes will be cast on March 11, counting will be held on March 14.