Of the 13 constituencies, four are in West Bengal and three in Himachal, where the Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu-led Congress government has survived attempts to oust it.

Here are 10 points in this developing story:

  1. By-elections to 13 assembly constituencies in seven states are being held today, the first since the Lok Sabha elections, in which the BJP lost its majority and the opposition strengthened. The BJP won 240 seats and the Bharatiya Janata Party won 232 seats, with the Congress emerging as its largest ally with 99 constituencies.

  2. West Bengal has Raiganj, Ranaghat Dakshin, Bagda and Maniktala assembly seats. Dera, Hamirpur and Nalagarh in Himachal Pradesh; Badrinath and Mangalore in Uttarakhand; Jalandhar West in Punjab; Rupoli in Bihar; Vikravandi in Tamil Nadu and Amarwara in Madhya Pradesh. Four of these states are governed by Indian constituencies while the rest are governed by either the BJP or the NDA.

  3. The election exercise will decide the fate of many veterans and some new players, including Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu’s wife Kamlesh Thakur from Dehra constituency.

  4. In Himachal Pradesh, the Sukhu government survived attempts to remove it and won four of the six assembly seats by-elections that were held alongside the Lok Sabha elections. In the Rajya Sabha elections, six Congress MLAs and three independent candidates cross-voted in favor of the BJP candidate.

  5. Congress MLAs were disqualified and by-elections were held earlier on these six seats. The independent candidates resigned and joined the BJP and the elections for their seats are being held on Wednesday.

  6. Vote for Chief Minister not MLA, now Dera will also become Chief Minister’s constituency, I will not need to go to Secretariat to get your work done, I will get it done from Chief Minister. At home,” Kamlesh Thakur told the crowd while asking for votes.

  7. In West Bengal, the stakes are high for both the ruling Trinamool Congress – which defied all expectations and won 29 of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats, up from 21 in 2019 – And the BJP, whose numbers went down. 18 to 12.

  8. The Trinamool won the Maniktala seat in the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections, while the BJP won Raiganj, Ranaghat Dakshin and Bagda. Later, BJP MLAs moved to Trinamool. The Maniktala by-election has become necessary due to the death of sitting Trinamool MLA Sadhan Pandey in February 2022.

  9. Mangalore constituency in Uttarakhand will see a three-way fight in the by-election, which is being held after the death of BSP MLA Sarwat Karim Ansari in October last year. The BJP has never won the Muslim- and Dalit-majority Mangalore seat, which has been held by either the Congress or the BSP. In the Lok Sabha elections, BJP won all the five seats.

  10. The by-election in Jalandhar West assembly constituency in Punjab is being seen as a litmus test for Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann. AAP has won only three of the state’s 13 seats in the Lok Sabha elections.

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