Election to 9 seats of the Maharashtra Legislative Council on May 21

NEW DELHI: The Electoral Commission announced biennial elections on Friday for nine seats on the legislative council in Maharashtra, and the elections will be held on May 21. The calendar of the elections that were postponed on April 3 due to the closure will allow the Prime Minister, who is neither an MLA nor an MLC at present, to be elected to the Legislative Council and continue in office beyond 27 May 2020.

As for other elections currently on hold due to Covid-19, including Rajya Sabha's biennial 18-seat polls, as well as legislative council seat elections in Bihar, UP and Telangana, the Commission said it would take an equal review in the next week.

Constitutional standards require that a minister (including the Prime Minister and Prime Minister) who is not a member of either House of Parliament/Legislature at the time of taking office, be elected as such within the next six months. Uddhav's six-month term to be elected to one of the two legislatures of the Chambers of Maharashtra will expire on May 27.

At a full Commission meeting here on Friday, comprising CEC Sunil Arora, who joined from the US. USA Through a video call, and electoral commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra, the EC reviewed the suitability of conducting legislative council surveys in Maharashtra in light of requests received from the state governor, Shiv Sena, Congress and the PNC seeking the surveys to be conducted and completed before May 27 in the interest of a stable state government and also the Secretary-General's opinion that it was possible to conduct surveys in a safe environment with all preventive measures of Covid-19 in place.

The EC also reviewed previous precedents in unforeseen situations. In the cases of former prime ministers P V Narasimha Rao in 1991 and HD Deve Gowda in 1996; and several senior ministers (Ashok Gehlot in 1991, Rabri Devi in ​​1997; Vijay Bhaskar Reddy in 1993, UP CM Yogi Adityanath in 2017), the Commission had held midterm elections to meet a similar constitutional requirement. The Commission noted that this has been the consistent practice in the past, an EC statement said.

As reported by TOI on Friday, EC received a letter on Thursday from Maharashtra's chief secretary listing the various measures taken to control the pandemic and conveying the state government's assessment that the polls to the legislative council could be conducted in a safe environment. . He assured the Commission that the state government was fully committed to guaranteeing that these elections are held in full hygienic conditions with measures of social distancing and other conditions imposed by the competent authorities.

The state governor also informed the EC that the ground-level situation related to Covid-19 'was contained and appeared to be improving with various relaxations by the government.

Therefore, taking into account the entire situation, the Electoral Commission has been asked to consider developing modalities for holding elections, an EC spokesperson said.

After taking all this into consideration, the Commission decided to carry out such a biennial election in the state of Maharashtra, the EC said. The Commission decided to ask the Union Minister of the Interior to appoint an official of adequate seniority to ensure that preventive measures are applied in accordance with the provisions of the Disaster Management Act of 2005 for the proper conduct of the electoral process.

It also directed the chief secretary of state to delegate a state official to ensure that existing instructions regarding Covid-19 are followed when making arrangements to conduct the elections.

The Commission has appointed the Electoral Director, Maharashtra, as an observer for the upcoming elections.