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Election Commission defers bypolls due to COVID-19 second wave

A view of the logo of Election Commission of India (ECI), in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

The Election Commission of India on Wednesday deferred byelections to three Parliamentary and eight Assembly seats due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

“The Commission has reviewed the matter today [Wednesday] and has decided that due to outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 in the country it would not be appropriate to hold byelections till the pandemic situation significantly improves and conditions become conducive to hold these byelections,” an ECI statement said.

Three Parliamentary constituencies — Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh and Mandi in Himachal Pradesh — are vacant. Kalka and Ellenabad in Haryana, Vallabhnagar in Rajasthan, Sindgi in Karnataka, Rajabala and Mawryngkneng in Meghalaya, Fatehpur in Himachal Pradesh and Badvel in Andhra Pradesh are the vacant Assembly seats.

“There are few more vacancies of seats for which reports and notifications are awaited and being confirmed...As per the provisions of Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the vacancies are required to be filled, through byelections within six months from the date of occurrence of vacancy, provided that the remainder of the term in relation to the vacancy is one year or more,” the ECI said.

The ECI said it would take a decision at an “appropriate time in the future” after taking inputs from the States concerned and “assessing the pandemic situation from mandated authorities” like the National Disaster Management Authority and State Disaster Management Authorities.

The ECI’s decision comes days after it concluded the elections to five Assemblies.


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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 12:40:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/eci-defers-bypolls-due-to-covid-19-second-wave/article34491931.ece

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