In the bypolls whose results were announced by the Election Commission on Tuesday, the BJP’s unprecedented and deliberate strategic decision not to promote dynastic politics does not appear to have worked. In any of the six seats it previously held, the BJP did not field family members of its deceased legislators. In the end, the party was only able to win one of the six seats that had become empty after one of its legislators died earlier this year.
A total of 33 seats were left empty. Three were Lok Sabha seats, while the remaining 30 were assembly seats. On October 30, bypolls were held on three Lok Sabha and 29 assembly seats in Nagaland, with ruling NDPP’s Keoshu Yimchunger winning unchallenged in the Shamator-Chessore assembly constituency. The death of incumbent MPs and MLAs in all three Lok Sabha constituencies (Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh, Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, and Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli) and 23 of the 30 assembly constituencies prompted elections this year.
Two of the three MPs who died were from the BJP (one each from Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh), while the third was from Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Eight of the 23 MLAs that died were from the Congress party, with two each from Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Meghalaya, and one each from Maharashtra and Rajasthan. The BJP had four MLAs: one from Himachal Pradesh, one from Karnataka, one from Madhya Pradesh, and one from Rajasthan. In most cases, political parties fielded family members of dead MPs or MLAs to gain voter sympathy.
The BJP, however, did not field any family members of the two deceased MPs or four MLAs in these bypolls, which were held across 13 states and one Union Territory (UT) of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, to avoid dynasty politics.