By-elections to one Lok Sabha and four assembly seats across four states will be held on May 10, with results scheduled for May 13, the Election Commission announced on Wednesday along with the poll schedule for Karnataka.
The bypolls will held in the Jalandhar parliamentary constituency in Punjab, the assembly seats of Suar and Chhanbey in Uttar Pradesh, Jharsaguda in Odisha, and the Sohiong in Meghalaya.
The Jalandhar seat fell vacant in January 2023 after the sitting Congress member, 76-year-old Santoskh Singh Choudhary, died of a heart attack while taking part in the Bharat Jodo Yatra of the party.
For AAP, the bypoll will bring the possibility of redemption after it lost the Sangrur bypoll last year. On Monday, Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Singh Mann announced projects worth ₹100 crore, including the setting up of an automatic fermented milk product unit in the city.
The Congress has already announced the candidature of Chaudhary’s wife Karamjit Kaur Chaudhary for the seat. The BJP has appointed Union minister and Hoshiarpur MP Som Parkash as the in-charge for the seat.
In Uttar Pradesh’s Suar assembly constituency, the bypoll was necessitated by the disqualification of Samajwadi Party lawmaker Abdullah Azam after a conviction in a 2008 case where he was accused under Section 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code for blocking traffic after his vehicle was stopped by police for checking, and convicted to two years in prison.
Chhanbey will go to the polls again after the death of Apna Dal (Sonelal) MLA Rahul Kol, who died of cancer in 2022. The Apna Dal(S) is a BJP ally.
UP BJP spokesperson Harish Srivastava expressed confidence and said that under BJP rule, development benefits were reaching all sections. “The double engine governments of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Yogi Adityanath are what people want,” he said.
In Jharsaguda, the bypoll was required after BJD leader and state health minister Naba Kishore Das was shot dead by an additional sub inspector of the Odisha police, a case that is still under investigation. Senior BJD leaders said they expect the election to be a straight contest between the BJD and the BJP. The slain minister’s daughter Dipali Das is one of the contenders for the ticket, the BJD leader said.
Bypolls will also be held in Sohiong assembly seat in Meghalaya, after assembly elections held in the state in February 23 were deferred in the seat after former home minister and UDP candidate HDR Lyngdoh died of a cardiac arrest during the campaign.