Rajya Sabha polls: Coronavirus: EC may postpone biennial polls to Rajya Sabha seats | India News

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission is likely to take a call on postponement of March 26 biennial polls to 18 Rajya Sabha seats in view of the current state of lockdown in several parts of the country to contain spread of novel coronavirus.
With the term of 18 Rajya Sabha MPs ending on April 2, the strength of the House will be reduced if polls are postponed.
Asked it this is legally tenable, an EC functionary replied in the affirmative. “If the situation demands, biennial elections to Rajya Sabha can be postponed. Only consequence would be that the membership of Rajya Sabha would be that much less till new members are elected. There is no mandatory requirement that all Rajya Sabha seats should be filled up at all times,” a legal expert told TOI on Monday.
Gujarat has already requested EC to defer the Rajya Sabha polls to its four seats in view of lockdown currently in force in a few cities including Ahmedabad.
Election Commission had declared polls to 55 Rajya Sabha seats on February 25. Another bypoll was announced later to fill the vacancy caused by resignation of BJP MP Birender Singh. Polling for all seats was scheduled for March 26. After 37 candidates were elected unopposed and nomination papers of a TMC candidate for a West Bengal seat rejected due to technical reasons, polls to 18 seats — four each in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, three each in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, two in Jharkhand and one each in Manipur and Meghalaya — are now due.

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