New Delhi, Mar 24: In the view of spread of Coronavirus and the prevailing 'unforeseen situation' of public health emergency, the Election Commission on Tuesday postponed the Rajya Sabha polls, which was scheduled on March 26.
The Commission said that it has reviewed the situation in detail and the public health emergency indicates the need for avoidance of possibilities of gatherings of any nature, which expose all concerned to possible health hazard. 'The poll process in the elections would necessarily include the gathering of polling officials, agents of political parties, support officials and members of respective Legislative Assemblies on the poll day, which may not be suitable in view of the prevailing unforeseen situation and related advisories in the country', the poll body noted.
Hence, the Commission further said that it has deferred the poll and extended the period of election under the provisions of section 153 of the Representation of the People Act. 'The list of contesting candidates, already published for the elections by the respective returning officers shall remain valid for the purposes of remaining activities, as prescribed under the said notification', the poll body stated.
It also said that fresh date of poll and counting for the biennial elections shall be announced in due course after reviewing the prevailing situation. The Commission on February 24 had announced the polls in 55 seats from 17 states to the Upper House and on March 18, on the last date of withdrawal, declared 37 seats from 10 states filled in uncontested. Now, according to the Commission, the date for the Rajya Sabha polls for 18 seats from the Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Rajasthan will be decided later. (UNI)