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Election Commission defers Rajya Sabha polls in wake of COVID-19 outbreak

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New Delhi, Mar 24: The Election Commission of India has deferred the Rajya Sabha elections in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Following the outbreak of the virus, the EC had decided to review the decision on whether or not to hold the RS polls on March 26. Following a review of the field situation, the decision to defer the elections was taken.

Election Commission defers Rajya Sabha polls in wake of COVID-19 outbreak

With the polls now being postponed, the strength of the Rajya Sabha will remain reduced.

The term of the 18 MPs will come to an end on April 2. With the polls being deferred the only consequence would be that the membership of the Rajya Sabha would be less until the new members are elected. The EC says that this step is legally tenable and in the wake of a crisis such as this, such decisions have to be taken.

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It may be recalled that the Election Commission had declared polls to 55 Rajya Sabha seats on February 25. Another poll had also been declared to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of BJP MP Birender Singh. Polling for these seats was scheduled for March 26. Polls had to be held for 18 seats since, 37 candidates were elected unopposed, while the nomination papers of a TMC candidate was rejected due to technical reasons.

Currently elections are due for four seats each from Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, three each from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, two from Jharkhand and one each from Meghalaya and Manipur.

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