Citing Covid-19 2nd wave, Election Commission of India defers Lok Sabha and Assembly bye-elections
The Commission said it would take a decision in the matter at an "appropriate time in the future"
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided to defer bye-elections to three Parliamentary (Lok Sabha) constituencies and eight Assembly seats across the country due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Announcing the decision after a review of the matter on Wednesday, the Commission said that due to the outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 in the country, "it would not be appropriate to hold bye-elections till the pandemic situation significantly improves and conditions become conducive to hold these bye-elections".
The Commission said it would take a decision in the matter at an "appropriate time in the future".
There are vacancies in three Lok Sabha Parliamentary constituencies - Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Khandwa (Madhya Pradesh) and Mandi (Himachal Pradesh).
Eight Assembly constituencies do not have an elected representative at the moment.
These are Kalka and Ellenabad in Haryana, Vallabhnagar in Rajasthan, Sindgi in Karnataka, Rajabala and Mawryngkneng (ST) in Meghalaya, Fatehpur in Himachal Pradesh and Badvel (SC) in Andhra Pradesh.
There are a few more vacancies of seats for which reports and notifications are awaited and being confirmed, the ECI said.
The commission referred to the provisions of section 151A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which requires that the vacancies be filled through bye-elections within six months from the date of occurrence of vacancy. This is subject to the proviso that the remainder of the term in relation to the vacancy is one year or more.
The ECI said it will announce fresh dates for the bye-elections later, after taking inputs from the states concerned and assessing the pandemic situation from mandated authorities like the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs).