Election Commission declares bypolls to seven Rajya Sabha seats
The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday announced dates for by-polls to seven Rajya Sabha seats that have fallen vacant due to various reasons like resignations, death, and end of the tenure of members. According to a notification issued by the ECI, there are two such seats in Tamil Nadu and one each in West Bengal, Assam, Maharashtra, Puducherry, and Madhya Pradesh.
Polls to seven seats will take place on October 4
The Madhya Pradesh Rajya Sabha seat got vacant after former Union cabinet minister Thaawarchand Gehlot was elevated as the Karnataka Governor in July. In Tamil Nadu, two seats fell vacant after the resignation of AIADMK leaders KP Munusamy and R Vaithilingam who are now members of the state legislative assembly. The polls to all seven seats will take place on October 4.
In Bengal, Assam, two leaders resigned from their RS seat
The West Bengal Rajya Sabha seat fell vacant after the resignation of TMC leader Manas Ranjan Bhunia. In Assam, the seat held by assembly speaker Biswajit Daimary fell vacant after he resigned from membership of the upper house of Parliament and his earlier party, the Bodoland People's Front, and joined the BJP before the recent polls in the state.
Maharashtra seat got vacant after the death of Rajeev Satav
The Maharashtra seat got vacant due to the death of Congress leader Rajeev Satav in May this year due to COVID-19 infection. In Puducherry, the Rajya Sabha seat will fall vacant soon as the term of incumbent member N Gokulakrishnan ends on October 6.
COVID-19 guidelines have to be followed during election process: EC
Notably, the BJP may field Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal from the Assam seat as he is yet to become a member of either house of Parliament. The ECI said in its order that all "broad guidelines of COVID-19" have to be followed during the election process, that is from the time of issue of notification to the counting of votes.
Here is what the poll panel said
"The chief secretaries of states concerned are being directed to depute a senior officer from the state to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the election," the poll panel said.