The bye-election from the Neyyattinkara Assembly constituency will be held on June 2, the Election Commission of India announced on Tuesday.
The notification for the election will be issued on May 9 and nominations will be accepted until May 16. The counting of votes is scheduled for June 15.
The bye-election was necessitated by the resignation of CPI (M) member R. Selvaraj who has since defected to the ruling United Democratic Front (UDF). He will now be contesting again from the constituency. It is yet to be decided whether this would be on a Congress ticket or as an independent supported by the UDF. The Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) has named Advocate F. Lawrence, who is now a member of the Parassala Block Panchayat, as it candidate. The BJP decided to field former Union Minister of State O. Rajagopal as its candidate. With this, the stage is set for a largely three-cornered contest. All the main contestants have already launched their campaigns.
An official release from the Commission said that the Model Code of Conduct would come into force with immediate effect in Thiruvananthapuram district in which the constituency is located. The Code would be applicable to all candidates, political parties and the State and Union governments concerned.
The release said that the Commission had decided to use electronic voting machines in the bye-election in all the polling stations. Adequate numbers of machines had been made available and all steps had been taken to ensure that the polls are conducted smoothly.
It said that the voter’s identification would be mandatory for voting in the bye-election. Electoral Photo Identity Cards would be the main document of identity of a voter. “However, in order to ensure that no voter is deprived of his or her franchise, if his or her name figures in the electoral rolls, separate instructions will be issued to allow additional documents for identification of voters at the time of poll.”