Bypolls in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh unlikely

Making a start with the announcement of the bypoll to a Rajya Sabha seat from West Bengal, the Election Commission is working on scheduling by-elections to at least 23 state and Lok Sabha seats and eight Rajya Sabha seats on a case-by-case basis.

Bypolls, however, to the six vacant assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh and two in Uttarakhand are unlikely to be held since Section 151A of the Representation of People’s Act allows for exception to fill up the vacant positions when the term of the House ends within a year.

Both states are scheduled for polls in early 2022.

Election to the remaining 15-odd vacant seats will most likely be held before the October-November deadline, provided there is no fresh Covid-19 surge, sources told ET.

This will include the crucial bypoll in West Bengal where Mamata Banerjee needs to be elected to the assembly in order to retain her chief ministership.

The state’s ruling Trinamool Congress has made a representation to the Election Commission this week on this.

The same formula is to be applied for bypolls to vacant Rajya Sabha seats. Eight seats of the upper House are currently vacant.

The poll panel on Friday gave the go-ahead for the Rajya Sabha election to one seat from West Bengal as the deadline for filling the vacancy caused by Dinesh Trivedi’s resignation is August 9. But the commission has yet to announce the poll schedule for a second vacant seat from the state, as there is more time to fill the position.

ET learns that the ECI will now look at the three vacant upper house seats in Tamil Nadu and one in Assam.

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