By-elections to 54 assembly seats across 10 states will be held on November 3, the Election Commission said today. Besides, one Parliamentary constituency in Bihar and two assembly seats from Manipur will to polls on November 7. The counting of votes will be held on November 10. The list of states where elections will be held includes Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Odisha, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.
"After taking into consideration various factors like weather conditions, movement of forces, pandemic etc, the commission has decided to hold by-elections," a note from the Election Commission said.
The commission has also decided not to hold by-elections to seven constituencies in four states. Elections on the seats -- two each in Assam, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and one in Bengal -- will be held early next year. The Commission said the Chief Secretaries of the states have expressed difficulty in conducting elections for these seats.
The maximum number of seats going to polls is from Madhya Pradesh, where a chunk of seats fell vacant as Jyotiraditya Scindia switched camp from the Congress to the BJP with his loyalists. Twenty-seven seats will be up for election in the state.
In terms of numbers, Madhya Pradesh is followed by Gujarat, where eight seats will go to polls and Uttar Pradesh, where the corresponding number is seven.
Last week, the Election Commission announced the dates for the assembly elections in Bihar. The three-phase election will be held on October 28, November 3 and 7 and the counting of votes will be held on November 10.
While announcing the elections in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, Election Commissioner Sunil Arora had said the coronavirus is showing no sign of retreat. "Life has to go on," he had told reporters, pointing out that students across the country just sat for the competitive medical and engineering entrance exams.
For the safety of voters and workers and leaders of political parties, the Election Commission came up with an elaborate list of dos and don'ts, which include including an extra voting hour, masks and gloves for voters and no physical contact during the campaign.