May 27 2020
Tamil Nadu may set a record by holding bypolls in 20 seats
02 November 2018

Only 4 States have held byelections in 7 or more seats at a time

In the event of the Election Commission notifying bypolls in all seats which have been declared vacant, Tamil Nadu will set a record in respect of holding by elections to the largest number of assembly constituencies at a time.

A perusal of the data concerning by elections in different parts of the country in the last 20 years reveals that four States had experienced simultaneous byelections to seven or more assembly constituencies.

So far, the largest number of constituencies that went to bypolls was 18 and fell under the undivided Andhra Pradesh and the polling took place in June 2012.

Similar situation

What may look similar to the present situation in Tamil Nadu is that 17 of the constituencies fell vacant in the wake of disqualification of 16 legislators, who defected from the Congress to the YSR Congress led by Jaganmmohan Reddy, son of former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

One more MLA, who had originally belonged to the Praja Rajyam Party, had crossed over to the YSR Congress.

The 18th seat became vacant due to resignation. In the case of Tamil Nadu, 18 MLAs were deemed to have defected from the AIADMK to rebel leader T.T.V. Dhinakaran’s camp.

When the results were out, they marked the advent of Mr. Reddy as a principal political force in Andhra Pradesh.

His party snatched 15 constituencies, with the Congress getting two and the Telengana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) capturing one.

‘Strong perception’

The outcome of the June 2012 byelections had even generated a strong perception that the YSR Congress leader would become the Chief Minister as and when the State had general elections to the Assembly.

But in the May 2014 elections (after which the State of Telengana came into being), the Telugu Desam Party, aided by the Bharatiya Janata Party, outsmarted the YSR Congress at the hustings.

In May 2008, when the State had byelections in 18 constituencies, the results were more or less evenly balanced with the TRS netting seven, the Congress six, and the TDP, five.

When the present territorial limits of Telengana, while being part of the undivided Andhra Pradesh, had byelections in 12 constituencies in August 2010, the Telengana Rashtra Samiti along with the Bharatiya Janata Party had thrashed others by bagging all the seats.

In December 2008, bypolls to eight constituencies ensured the longevity of the then Yeddyurappa regime as the BJP had won in five seats and the Janata Dal (Secular) in three.

In June 1998, when the western State of Maharashtra saw byelections to 10 constituencies, the Congress secured seven and the Bharatiya Janata Party came a distant runner-up with two. The remaining seat went to the BJP’s ally, Shiv Sena.



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