Coronavirus: EC uses constitutional powers to further defer Rajya Sabha polls to 18 seats

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission said Friday that it is using its constitutional powers to defer Rajya Sabha's polls to 18 seats beyond the terms of the retired members, taking into account the health hazard due to the pandemic and the blockade. national 21 days.

Last month, the voting panel had postponed Rajya Sabha's March 26 election, citing the threat of coronavirus, saying a decision will be made after reviewing the situation.

While 17 members from six states retire on April 9, one from Meghalaya retires on April 12.

The 18 seats are spread over Andhra Pradesh Rajasthan, Gujarat and Meghalaya.

In a statement, the Commission said that the electoral process necessarily involves the movement and the gathering of electoral officials, political party agents, support officials and members of the respective legislative assemblies on the day of the vote, which can put at risk public safety and create a danger to public health.

The commission has reviewed the current unforeseen public health emergency situation and the feasibility of completing the voting process for the aforementioned elections.

The commission, after taking into account all the facts and circumstances, considers that the ongoing electoral process in the current environment may not be feasible in view of the restrictions for maintaining public safety and avoiding health risks ... statement said.

The EC said the elections to the 28 seats cannot be completed within their scheduled time.

The Commission invoking its powers under Article 324 of the Indian Constitution, read under Article 153 of the People's Representation Act of 1951, has further extended the election period beyond the prescribed term (s) ( s) of the seats mentioned, he said.

Elections to fill 55 seats in the Upper House of Parliament would be held on March 26, although 37 candidates have already been chosen without a contest.

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