Kerala Rajya Sabha bypoll deferred by EC over second wave of Covid-19

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday decided to defer a proposed Rajya Sabha bypoll for a seat from Kerala, citing the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ECI said that Kerala Congress (M) leader Jose K Mani had resigned as a Rajya Sabha member from Kerala on 11 January this year. His term in the upper house was till July 2024.

“As per the provisions of Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, the vacancy is required to be filled, through bye election within six months from date of occurrence of vacancy, provided that remainder of the term in relation to the vacancy is one year or more,” the poll panel observed.

The ECI had not yet announced any date for the proposed bypoll.

The Commission said it reviewed the matter on Friday and decided that due to the outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 in the country, “it would not be appropriate to hold the said by election till the pandemic situation significantly improves” and conditions become conducive to hold the byelection.

The poll panel said it will take any further decision in the matter at an “appropriate time in the future” after taking inputs from the state concerned and assessing the pandemic situation from mandated authorities like the national and state disaster management authorities.

Meanwhile, Kerala registered 24,166 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, taking the caseload to 24,18,529, while 181 deaths pushed the toll to 8,063.

Recoveries outnumbered new cases with 30,539 people under treatment testing negative for the virus, taking the total recoveries to 21,98,135.

Active cases stood at 2,41,966.

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