The Election Commission (EC) set in motion on Tuesday the process for filling up four vacant UP Legislative Council seats by issuing the notification for the by-polls. There has been speculation that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, his two deputies and a minister could become legislators within the stipulated six-month period after assuming office by getting elected to the Upper House. Chief electoral officer Amrita Soni said the notification was issued on Tuesday.
The last date for filing nominations is September 5 and the scrutiny will be done the next day. The last date for the withdrawal of candidature is September 8.
Polling will be held on September 15 and counting of votes will be done the same day.
Soni said the EC had also announced on Tuesday the schedule for the bypoll to the fifth vacant seat in the UP Council, for which a notification will be issued on August 31.
The Election Commission had announced on August 24 the election schedule for the four vacant seats of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council.
Adityanath, who took over as the chief minister on March 19, has to become a legislator within six months of assuming office and the deadline expires on September 19.
Besides Adityanath, deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma, and ministers Swatantra Dev Singh and Mohsin Raza are not member of either of the two Houses.
Adityanath and Maurya are still members of the Lok Sabha.
All of them have to get elected to either the assembly or the legislative council before September 19 — when they complete six months — in order to continue as ministers.
If Adityanath chooses the council route, he will become the third successive chief minister, after Akhilesh Yadav (SP) and Mayawati (BSP), to opt for the upper house.
The four seats for which bypolls will be held on September 15 were vacated by MLCs Bukkal Nawab, Yashwant, Sarojini Agarwal and Ashok Bajpai – all members of the Samajwadi Party.
Another seat fell vacant when Thakur Jaiveer Singh, a former BSP MLC resigned from the party and joined BJP.
There has been speculation that Adityanath and his four colleagues could contest from these five seats.
Other UP chief ministers who had opted for the Legislative Council route are Narain Dutt Tiwari and late Ram Prakash Gupta (BJP).
Former chief minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh had become a member of UP Legislative Council in November 1980 after assuming the chief minister’s office in June 1980.
He later contested a by-election from Tindwari assembly constituency, and became a member of UP Legislative Assembly in 1981.