The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Sunday announced by-elections to two more Legislative Assembly seats in Gujarat, a day after it released schedule for four bypolls in the state out of the total seven constituencies up for grabs.
The EC is yet to announce the schedule for Morva Hadaf Assembly constituency, reserved for the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category.
Bypolls to rest six seats would be held on October 21.
Counting of votes would be taken up three days later. The by-polls to Radhanpur and Bayad Assembly seats announced on Sunday were necessitated after sitting MLAs Alpesh Thakor and Dhavalsinh Zala of Congress resigned and joined the ruling BJP.
On Saturday, the EC announced by-polls to Amraiwadi, Tharad, Lunawada, and Kheralu seats, which fell vacant after sitting MLAs successfully contested Lok Sabha polls in April-May this year.
Morva Hadaf seat fell vacant after Independent MLA Bhupendrasinh Khant was disqualified following the invalidation of his caste certificate.
Meanwhile, Alpesh Thakor and Zala have staked claims for their respective constituencies, Radhanpur and Bayad. Both the leaders belonged to the Alpesh Thakor community.
"My decision to join the BJP was for the sake of the Alpesh Thakor community and farmers of Bayad constituency. A former MLA has also demanded ticket from the seat. But people know me. I have helped resolve even small, personal problems of people in my area. If given ticket, I will help the party win," said Zala.
Alpesh Thakor said (abrogation of provisions of) Article 370 will remain the main issue in polls.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has provided a capable leadership to the country. The way the Congress campaigned against Article 370 has disillusioned people," he said. Alpesh Thakor added that people are also appreciating the work of the state government.
"The decision on likely candidate from Radhanpur will be decided by the parliamentary board of the BJP. However, senior BJP leaders have indicated that I will contest. I am very much interested..." he added.
Accusing the poll panel of acting under pressure from the BJP, the Congress on Saturday questioned its decision to not announce bypolls to all the seven vacated seats.
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