TAMIL NADU

Campaigning ends for L.S., Assembly bypolls

New Delhi May 29. A day before the crucial Assembly elections in Goa, campaigning for bypolls for three Parliamentary seats and 12 Assembly segments ended at 5 p.m. today.

The Lok Sabha seats where bypolls will be held on Friday are Akbarpur (Uttar Pradesh, vacated by BSP's Mayawati), Amalapuram (SC, Andhra Pradesh, following the death of TDP's G.M.C. Balayogi) and Dumka (ST, Jharkhand, following the resignation of Babu Lal Marandi).

Assembly bypolls will be held in Uttar Pradesh (Baheri, Jahangirganj, Dibai), Bihar (Danapur, Chatapur), Karnataka (Narasimharaja), Maharashtra (Jalgaon), Orissa (Bhadrak), Tamil Nadu (Saidapet, Vaniyambadi, Acharapakam) and West Bengal (Onda).

Repolling will be held for the Kunda Assembly seat in Uttar Pradesh (on Friday) and polls would be held for a Rajya Sabha seat from Jharkhand, latter tomorrow. Counting for the bypolls will be held on June two.Mid-term polls for the 210-member Goa Assembly were necessitated after the Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar, heading a Government comprising defectors from the Congress, decided to dissolve the Legislative Assembly on February 27.

The Governor, Mohammed Fazal, however, allowed Mr. Parrikar and his Cabinet to continue in Government till the elections. The Congress had challenged the decision in the court, but the judgment was split. The elections are seen as a crucial test for the Central NDA alliance, as the communal violence in Gujarat has been turned into a major political issue by almost all the parties.

In Uttar Pradesh, where a BJP-BSP Government could be formed only after intense negotiations following the February polls, lacklustre electioneering was witnessed. In all the seats, it is a do-or-die contest between the ruling BSP-BJP combine and Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party.

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