The Election Commission has further defered the Rajya Sabha polls, originally slated for March 26, in view of Covid-19 pandemic, saying that fresh date to be announced later.
The Commission has further extended the Rajya Sabha elections by invoking its powers under Article 324 of the Constitution, read with section 153 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
National lockdown and pandemic defers the polls
The decision was taken in view of the ongoing nationwide shutdown that was clamped by the centre in wake of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
"The Commission has reviewed the current unforeseen situation of public health emergency and the feasibility of completing the poll process for the aforesaid election. The Commission, after taking all facts and circumstances in view, is of considered view that continuing electoral process in the current environment may not be feasible in view of the restrictions for the maintenance of public safety and avoiding health hazard, and therefore, aforesaid election can not be completed within its scheduled term...," it said.
As per the reports received from the concerned Returning Officers, the biennial elections for 18 seats from the States of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Rajasthan were to be conducted on 26.03.2020 and election process was to be completed by 30th March 2020.
Dates of the poll to be announced later
"Fresh date of poll and counting for the said biennial elections shall be intimated in due course after reviewing the prevailing situation," said the poll body in a statement.
The Commission has now further reviewed the prevailing situation after taking all facts and circumstances in view and concluded that continuing electoral process in the current environment may not be feasible in view of the restrictions for the maintenance of public safety and avoiding health hazard.
The list of contesting candidates, already published for the said elections by the respective Returning Officers shall remain valid for the purposes of remaining activities, as prescribed under the said notifications. Fresh date of poll and counting for the said biennial elections shall be intimated in due course after reviewing the prevailing situation.