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EC announces bypolls for RS and Legislative Council
The Election commission of India has announced schedule for bypolls of two Rajya Sabha seats in Kerala and West Bengal. The ECI has also announced bypolls for one seat of Legislative Council in Maharashtra and three seats in Andhra Pradesh and six in Telangana.
An EC statement said, "The Commission having re-assessed the situation in the State of Kerala and after taking into consideration all relevant facts, has now decided to conduct above-mentioned two by-elections to the Council of States from Kerala and West Bengal."
The seats going for bypolls fell vacant after the resignation of Jose K. Mani from Kerala on January 11 and TMC MP Arpita Ghosh from West Bengal on September 15.
The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) which has a strength of 99 legislators to the 41 of the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala is likely to win the Rajya Sabha seat easily. The LDF is likely to give the seat to Kerala Congress (M) itself but Jose K. Mani who resigned from the Rajya Sabha to contest assembly elections and lost it from his home turf Pala, is unlikely to be a candidate as he is concentrating on his assembly constituency, that was held by his father late K.M. Mani for a record fifty years at a stretch.
Kerala Congress (M) leader and former MLA, Stephen George is the front runner for the seat, sources in the party told IANS.
The EC had on May 28 decided that "due to the outbreak of the second wave of Covid-19 in the country, it would not be appropriate to hold by-election to the Council of States from Kerala till the pandemic situation significantly improves and conditions become conducive".
But, after re-assessing the situation in Kerala, the commission said it decided to announce the schedule for by-election in Kerala and West Bengal.
The EC also announced six Telangana and three Andhra Pradesh seats of the Legislative Council that fell vacant after the retirement of members in May and June respectively.
The ECI has directed the Chief Secretaries of the states to depute a senior officer to make it clear that its instructions regarding Covid-19 containment measures are compiled with during the elections.
The polling and counting for all seats would be held on November 29.