Voting for by-elections for Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh and six assembly seats in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh is underway.
Assembly seats in Rampur Sadar and Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh, Padampur in Odisha, Sardarshahar in Rajasthan, Kurhani in Bihar, and Bhanupratappur in Chhattisgarh are in for a by-election race. The Mainpuri Lok Sabha by-election is vacant after the death of Samajwadi Party (SP) founder Mulayam Singh Yadav.
The bypolls Rampur Sadar and Khatauli were necessitated after SP MLA Azam Khan and BJP MLA Vikram Singh Saini were disqualified in separate cases.
Notably, Khan was disqualified in a hate speech case and the BJP MLA Saini after his conviction and sentence of two-year imprisonment in a 2013 riot case was also disqualified.
"Barbarism being done & people being arrested, beaten up. Police are going to colonies & telling people not to step out to vote. People in one colony locked up their houses and migrated in fear. They are saying it everywhere to not cast votes," Azam Khan said.
BJP has fielded Rajkumari Saini on the Khatauli seat while Madan Bhaiya is RLD-SP's candidate. Congress and Bahujan Samaj Party are out of the by-polls race.
Mulayam's daughter-in-law and Akhilesh's wife Dimple Yadav, a former MP, is the party candidate in Mainpuri while BJP has pitted Raghuraj Singh Shakya, a former confidant of Mulayam's brother Shivpal Singh Yadav.
In Chhattisgarh, Congress candidate for Bhanupratappur constituency, Savitri Mandavi casts her vote for assembly bypolls.
An anticipated direct contest between Congress and BJP is expected at the Bhanupratappur seat after Congress MLA Manoj Singh Mandavi passed away last month. The Congress has fielded Savitri Mandavi, the wife of the deceased MLA in a bid to retain the seat while BJP has fielded a former MLA. The seat is reserved for Scheduled Tribes.
She said, "Atmosphere is in favour of Congress because our Government has set standards of development. Looking at those works, people are voting for us".
The counting of votes will take place on December 8.
In other states, the Padampur bypoll of Odisha was also necessitated following the demise of sitting BJD MLA Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha on October 3. BJP fielded Pradip Purohit who is the State BJP Krushak Morcha president was elected to the Odisha Legislative Assembly from Padampur in the 2014 election, however, Purohit lost the 2009 election.
Rajasthan's Sardarshahar seat goes to polls following the death of Congress MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma after a prolonged illness. His seat will be contested by his son Anil Kumar while BJP has fielded former MLA Ashok Kumar there.
In Bihar's Kurhani, the disqualification of RJD MLA Anil Kumar Sahani has prompted the polls.
The voting for high voltage by-elections will continue till 6 pm.(ANI)