Election Commission announces by-polls to six Rajya Sabha seats

The Election Commission has announced by-polls to six Rajya Sabha seats. Notification for the by-polls will be issued on Tuesday and nominations can be filed till the 25th of this month. Polling will be held on the 5th of next month.

Two seats from Gujarat fell vacant after sitting MPs Amit Shah and Smriti Irani were elected to the Lok Sabha.

Bypoll in one seat from Bihar has been necessitated due to the resignation of Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who was also elected to the Lok Sabha.

Bypoll will be held in three seats of Odisha as sitting member Achuytananda Samanta was elected to Lok Sabha and other two members Pratap Kesari Deb and Soumya Ranjan Patnaik were elected to Odisha Legislative Assembly.

In a statement, the Commission clarified that the vacancies for by-polls to all Houses, including the Rajya Sabha, are considered separate vacancies and separate notifications are issued and separate polls are held, though the schedule can be the same.

It cited two Delhi High Court rulings of 1994 and 2009 which had supported the system of holding separate polls in the same state under provisions of the Representation of the People Act.

The Congress had demanded that the by-polls to the two vacant seats in Gujarat be held together as it felt that it could win one of the two Rajya Sabha seats.

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