Elections to 18 Rajya Sabha seats, postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak and the ensuing lockdown, will be held on June 19, the Election Commission announced Monday.
The counting of votes will be held on the evening of June 19 itself, the Commission said in a statement.
Out of these 18 seats, four are from Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, two from Jharkhand, three each from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and one each from Manipur and Meghalaya.
The polls were originally scheduled to be held on March 26, but on March 24, the Election Commission announced their deferment.
“The prevailing unforeseen situation of public health emergency indicates the need for avoidance of possibilities of gatherings of any nature, which expose all concerned to possible health hazard. The poll process in the above said elections would necessarily include the gathering of polling officials, agents of political parties, support official and members of respective legislative assemblies on the poll day, which may not be suitable in view of the prevailing unforeseen situation and related advisories in the country,” the EC had then said in a statement.
Then, on April 3, the poll body used its constitutional powers to defer the elections beyond the terms of the retiring members. While 17 members from six states retired on April 9, one from Meghalaya retired on April 12. “Commission invoking its powers under Article 324 of the Constitution of India read with section 153 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 has further extended the period of election beyond the prescribed term(s) of above-mentioned seats,” it said.
In the guidelines announced after the end of lockdown 4.0, the central government has allowed considerable opening up of offices and marketplaces. The country entered the first phase of its three-phase unlockdown on Monday, with shops and markets opening and unfettered movement of goods and persons allowed within states.
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