HIGHLIGHTS:

  • · The by-polls were ordered by the ECI on Tuesday
  • · The elections will have to be conducted Under strict Covid guidelines provided by the Election Commission
  • · The polls will be held on October 30, for three Lok Sabha and 30 Assembly Seats

On Tuesday, the Election Commission of India (ECI), has scheduled the by-polls for three Lok Sabha and 30 assembly seats on October 30. The commission has stated that various circumstances, including the ongoing pandemic, festivals, floods and situations of cold in various regions, were put to review, and only after satisfactory remarks from the local authorities has the schedule been finalized.

The by-polls of the Lok Sabha are scheduled to take place in the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Madhya Pradesh (Khandwa) and Himachal Pradesh (Mandi) to one seat each for the places concerned. The assembly bye-elections will involve one constituency each for Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Mizoram, Maharashtra, Telangana and Nagaland; two for Bihar, Karnataka and Rajasthan; and three for Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. In the case of West Bengal, the number of constituencies will be four, and five for Assam.

The by-polls were adjourned, keeping in mind the situation of the Covid-19 pandemic. The safety guidelines by the Election Commission, which were earlier published during the polls, will be applicable for the by-elections scheduled on October 30 as well. The guidelines state usage of masks, gloves, sanitizers and restricted participation in campaigns.

Earlier this month, the Election Commission declared by-polls on September 30, for four assembly seats, which include Bhabanipur in West Bengal. Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of Bengal, is contesting from Bhabanipur, as she needs to be elected to the state assembly by November, in order to continue in office as the Chief Minister.

The public interest litigation (PIL) urging for a stay on the by-election for the Bhabanipur assembly seat was rejected by the Calcutta high court, after which was announced the new by-poll schedule on the same day. Trinamool Congress (TMC), the ruling party of West Bengal pleaded to hold the by-polls to the soonest.

The pressure was given by the TMC in light of Banerjee’s narrow defeat by her opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari from BJP, at a margin of 1,956 votes in Nandigram. Mamata Banerjee took oath as the Chief Minister on May 5, after the Trinamool Congress won 213 out of 292 seats and came to power for the third time in West Bengal. However, she needs to get elected within six months in order to continue in her office as the CM.

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