The Election Commission has announced that by-elections to be held in three Lok Sabha constituencies on March 11, 2018 – including Gorakhpur and Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh vacated by CM Adityanath Yogi and Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya respectively; and Araria seat in Bihar.

Just a month ahead of the completion of one year to Yogi Adityanath’s government in Uttar Pradesh, the state will witness by-poll tests in two of its important Lok Sabha constituencies which are likely to heat-up the political landscape in the state. On Friday, the Election Commission of India announced the schedule for by-elections in three Lok Sabha constituencies including two in Uttar Pradesh and one in Bihar. The two seats of UP – Gorakhpur and Phulpur are to be filled after being vacated by UP CM Yogi Adityanatha and Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya, respectively. And the seat of Araria in Bihar was vacated after the death of RJD MP Mohammed Taslimuddin.

As per the announcement of the ECI, the by-elections will be held in all three seats on March 11, 2018 and counting will be held on March 13, 2018. The by-elections are once again, seen as a test for the incumbent Yogi government in India and are likely to heat-up the political landscape in the state. The two seats in Uttar Pradesh are highly significant, especially for opposition parties including the Congress, BSP and SP who are trying to stitch huge alliance to take down the BJP government in the Lok Sabha 2019 elections. Among the two, Gorakhpur seat is essentially crucial as it is the home turf of CM Yogi Adityanath.

After the by-polls held in Rajasthan and a clear-off victory for Congress in all three seats, the incumbent BJP party will leave no stones unturned to ensure regaining the seats. On the other hand, the opposition alliance with boosted confidence from Rajasthan results, will make every possible bid to get hold of the vacant seats in UP and Bihar. Meanwhile, the Election Commission said that ministers – Central or state – should not combine in any manner their official tours with election work after notification of by-poll.

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