COVID – 19 outbreak: Election Commission defers Rajya Sabha elections

New Delhi, Mar 24: The Election Commission of India on Tuesday announced that they have deferred polling for Rajya Sabha in view of the prevailing situation pertaining to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country and across the world.

Rajya Sabha elections were earlier scheduled for 26th March, 2020. Fresh dates for election haven’t been announced as of yet.

“Commission has reviewed in detail the matter. 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 notice from the Election Commission stated.

The poll process for Rajya Sabha elections would require gathering of MLAs, polling officials, agents of political parties, support officials and more.

Taking into consideration the unsuitability of such gatherings the Election Commission revealed that, “fresh date for poll and counting for the said biennial elections will be announced after reviewing the prevailing situation.”

The Election Commission on February 25th, 2020 had announced elections to the council of states to fill 55 seats of Members from 17 states, retiring in the month of April 2020.

However the polls were to be held for 18 seats from states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Rajasthan. The other 37 seats were filled in uncontested after the last date of withdrawal on March 18, 2020.

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