ECI further defers Rajya Sabha poll in view of coronavirus

In view of the current unforeseen situation of public health emergency, Election Commission of India 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 Rajya Sabha election beyond the prescribed term(s) of 18 seats across seven States, the official release said.

Election Commission of India vide notification dated March 24, in view of unforeseen public health emergency emerging from COVID-19 and invoking section 153 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 had extended the period of completion of election including postponing the date of poll and counting concerning elections to the Council of States, since the electoral process necessarily involves movement and gathering of polling officials, agents of political parties, support officials and members of respective Legislative Assemblies on the poll day, which may put public safety at risk and create public health hazard, it said,

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, it added.

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, the statement said.