The BJP, powered by ex-Congress man Jyotiraditya Scindia, took a lead in the Madhya Pradesh bypolls as votes were counted in 56 assembly (and one Lok Sabha) seats across a dozen states. The contests in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are the most absorbing. Half the vacant seats are in Madhya Pradesh, where the result will be viewed by many as a comment on Jyotiraditya Scindia and the clout he may (or may not) wield since he quit the Congress in March and crossed over to the BJP. Seven seats will be filled in UP, with the one held by the BJP’s Kuldeep Singh Sengar the highlight; it fell vacant after he was convicted in the Unnao rape case in December last year. Other states where bypolls were held – on November 3 – include Karnataka, Gujarat, Odisha, and Telangana. Bypolls for seats in Manipur and a Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar were held November 7. All elections took place amid strict restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.