The Election Commission (EC) of India on June 1 announced that the Rajya Sabha elections for pending 18 seats will now be held on June 19, 2020. The elections were earlier scheduled to be held on March 26 but were deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The elections will be to fill 18 seats in Rajya Sabha, out of which four each are from Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, one each from Manipur and Meghalaya, three each from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and two from Jharkhand.
In its announcement, Election Commission also mentioned that Rajya Sabha polls for a total of six seats in Karnataka, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh will also be on June 19. With the upcoming elections, a total of 24 Rajya Sabha seats across 10 states will be filled.
• The voting for Rajya Sabha elections will begin at 9 am on June 19 and the vote counting will take place at 5 pm on the day of the election.
• In its statement regarding the polls in 6 other states, EC mentioned that voting to fill the seats will also take place on June 19 as the elected members to these seats will be retiring in June-July 2020.
• The Election Commission announced the dates as the center had extended the lockdown till June 30 with relaxations in various states.
• The EC also mentioned that the Chief Secretaries have been given the responsibility to depute a senior official to make sure that whether the instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures have been carried out properly during the election preparations.
• Election Commission also informed that the decision to hold the Rajya Sabha elections was taken after taking all the factors into consideration.
Rajya Sabha Elections:
The Election Commission had earlier issued a notification on March 6, 2020, in order to fill 55 seats in Rajya Sabha from 17 states. The commission scheduled the polling for March 26 and the last date for filing the nomination was March 13.
A total of 37 candidates were declared elected after the last date of withdrawal on March 18. The leaders who made it to the Upper House included Union Minister of State and RPI leader Ramdas Athawale, NCP President Sharad Pawar (both are from Maharashtra), and Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh.
Rajya Sabha elections for the remaining 18 seats, which were scheduled to be on March 26, were then postponed due to the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. Even with the elections being deferred, the poll panel had made it clear that the completed procedure, including the candidates' nominations will remain valid.