The Election Commission Friday announced it would hold bypolls to one Lok Sabha and 64 Assembly seats in 15 states “around the same time” as the Bihar elections.
“The term of the Bihar assembly ends on November 29 and elections are likely to be held sometime in October-November,” a statement released by the poll body reads.
The EC’s decision was made after considering feedback and inputs of state governments and its Chief Electoral Officers. The decision to club by-elections with the Bihar polls, the EC’s statement said, was taken, given the “relative ease of movement of CAPF/other law and order forces, and related logistics issues”.
The bypoll for the Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha seat in Bihar has been pending following the death of JD(U)’s Baidyanath Prasad Mahto, the sitting MP, in February.
Among the 64 vacant Assembly seats, 27 are in Madhya Pradesh — most of which fell vacant when rebel Congress members resigned from the party and the assembly to join the BJP, leading to the fall of the Congress-led government in the state. The other vacant seats are in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat (eight each), Manipur (five), Assam, Jharkhand, Kerala, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Odisha (two each), Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Karnataka and West Bengal (one each).
The chief secretaries of Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat and the Chief Electoral Officer of Kerala have written to the EC suggesting the deferment of the by-elections citing rising Covid-19 cases and heavy rains.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines