Deadline for filing up these vacancies ranged from July 30 to Sept. 7

Deadline for filing up these vacancies ranged from July 30 to Sept. 7

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has deferred by-elections to a Lok Sabha seat in Bihar and seven Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala due to some extraordinary circumstances peculiar to these constituencies.
In Bihar, the Valmiki Nagar parliamentary constituency fell vacant due to the death of Baidyanath Prasad Mahto. The Tiruvottiyur and Gudiyattam Assembly seats are vacant in Tamil Nadu; Bulandshahr and Tundla seats in Uttar Pradesh; Sibsagar in Assam; Agar in Madhya Pradesh and Chavara in Kerala.
The deadline for filing up these vacancies ranged from July 30 to September 7. The vacancies are required to be filled through bypolls 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 decision to defer the by-elections was taken largely in view of the COVID-19 situation and that certain States or districts would witness heavy rainfall and flood situation during July-August due to the monsoon season. The district administration would be engaged in flood control and mitigation works during the period.
The ECI sought the Central governments view on the issue through a letter dated July 3, addressed to the Union Law Ministry. Through its response on July 15, the Centre concurred with the Commission. Accordingly, the eight bypolls that were due till September 7 were deferred.
After taking into account all the factors, the Commission has decided that under these circumstances, it would not be possible to hold by-elections in the various States until the monsoon has receded. It is also hoped that by that time, the COVID-19 outbreak will also subside and the SOPs, guidelines, procedures and preparation will be in place for conducting elections during the pandemic situation, said an ECI official letter.
On Thursday, the ECI clarified that by-elections were due for 56 Assembly constituencies (including the eight referred to earlier), besides one parliamentary constituency.
….the Commission has already taken a decision to hold all by-election as per provisions of Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act. In any case, the deferring of aforementioned eight by-elections is only up to September 7, 2020. This matter of timing etc. of by-elections is also slotted for discussion in the Election Commission meeting to be held on July 24, 2020, the ECI said in a statement.

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