New Delhi: In the counting of votes for byelection to 58 assembly seats in 11 states, including Madhya Pradesh would be decided on Tuesday (November 9). The results would also decide the fate of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government. The stakes are high for both the BJP and the Congress in the byelections, which are considered a litmus test for these parties.

In Madhya Pradesh, the ruling BJP needs at least eight more MLAs for a simple majority in the state Assembly, while the Congress will be hoping to regain its turf as it had sitting MLAs in 27 seats out of 28 in the state where bypolls were held.

The Congress had sitting MLAs in 42 seats out of 58, while the BJP had seven. The saffron party is fielding over 30 candidates who had won from the Congress ticket but switched sides and resigned, necessitating the bypolls.

The counting will be held in 19 districts. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, a total of 70.27 percent voter turnout was recorded during the bypolls which were contested by 355 candidates, including 12 ministers.

The BJP with 107 MLAs in MP assembly with an effective strength of 229 needs eight more MLAs for a simple majority. The Congress has 87 legislators in the House.

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In Uttar Pradesh, however, the results will show the popularity of the Yogi Adityanath government, which currently enjoys comfortable majority in the Assembly. The BJP is contesting on seven seats, six of which it had won in the last election while one was with the Samajwadi Party.

As many as 88 candidates are contesting in Naugaon Sadat, Tundla, Bangarmau, Bulandshahr, Deoria, Ghatampur and Malhani seats in UP. Barring Malhani, which was with the SP, the other seats were in the ruling BJP’s kitty.

Counting of votes will be held in eight seats in Gujarat, four seats in Manipur, and one seat in Haryana, all of which were with the Congress; one seat in Chhattisgarh which was with Ajit Jogi’s Janata Congress; two seats in Jharkhand which were held by the Congress and its ally JMM; and two seats in Karnataka which were with Congress and the JD(S).

The votes will also be counted in two seats in Nagaland held by NPF and NDPP, one seat in Telangana, which was with the TRS, and two seats in Odisha held by the BJD and BJP.

Moderate to high turnout was recorded in the byelections, the first major pan-India electoral exercise held amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Voting in all the seats took place on November 3 except in Manipur, where it was held on November 7.

For Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha by-polls in Bihar, the counting will take place on Tuesday. The by-election was necessitated due to the death of JD(U) MP Baidyanath Mahto.

The counting will begin at 8 AM as per the Election Commission’s COVID-19 guidelines which restrict the number of people who can be present in the counting halls. The Election Commission has also taken extensive measures to ensure social distancing during the counting.

(With Agency Inputs)

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