Bawana by-election to take place on Aug 23
The Election Commission on Thursday announced the date for the by-election for Delhi's
Bawana Assembly Constituency, which fell vacant after Aam Aadmi Party legislator Ved Prakash switched sides and joined Bhartiya Janata Party, days ahead of the Municipal Corporation elections in March 2017.
Polling will take place on August 23 and the votes will be counted on August 28.
All three major parties, i.e. Congress, BJP and AAP have launched campaigns for their respective candidates, namely Surender Kumar, Ved Prakash and Ramchandra.
Meanwhile, former BJP MLA Gugan Singh Ranga is eyeing a ticket with Bahujan Samaj Party this time around. In the 2013 Delhi Assembly elections, Ranga had won from Bawana on a BJP ticket.
With the saffron party deciding to field Ved Prakash instead of Ranga in the bypoll, the former is likely to face resentment from voters, as well as supporters of the BJP rebel Ranga, who has been holding hectic parleys with the BSP leadership.
Delhi Congress, meanwhile, has decided to give a ticket to three-time MLA Surender Kumar for the by-election.
For 15 years, Surender had won with huge margins and has been a very popular Dalit leader.
A senior Congress leader, on the condition of anonymity, claimed that Congress' vote share in Bawana constituency increased from 7.6 percent in the 2015 Assembly polls to 20 per cent in the recently concluded civic body polls.
As for AAP, the party considers the Bawana bypoll a serious matter, more so after it lost the battle Rajouri Garden by-election.
As a result, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal is devoting more time for government welfare schemes and awareness programme to win the goodwill of people.
Kejriwal also deputed two of Cabinet colleagues, Law Minister Kailash Gahlot and Water Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam, to look over major developments, especially rural programmes.
The party had already stepped up its campaign for the Bawana bypoll, before the announcement of polling date.