Kolkata: The stage is set for the bypoll to one Lok Sabha and five Assembly seats in as many states in the eastern region on Monday.
The five seats where Assembly bypolls will be held are Maheshtala in West Bengal, Gomia and Silli in Jharkhand, Jokihat in Bihar and Ampati in Meghalaya.
The by-election will also be held in the lone Nagaland Lok Sabha seat which was necessitated after the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) leader Neiphiu Rio, now chief minister of Nagaland, resigned as a Lok Sabha member in February.
It will be a test of strength between the candidate of the Naga People's Front (NPF) supported by Congress and the nominee of the ruling People's Democratic Alliance (PDA).
The PDA, which has the NDPP and the BJP as its major constituents, has fielded former minister Tokheho Yepthomi in the seat.
The Congress has extended support to NPF candidate C Apok Jamir. "As our primary concern is to save Nagaland from communal forces, we have agreed in principle to support Apok Jamir. We hope he will live up to the expectations of the party and uphold the principles of secularism and liberal democracy," Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) chief K Therie said.
BJP spokesperson K James Vizo said the Congress was levelling charges on the saffron party "out of desperation".
The bypoll in Mahestala Assembly seat in West Bengal will mainly witness a three-corn...