Haryana’s Baroda assembly byelection on November 3, counting on November 10
Polling for the Baroda assembly seat, which fell vacant upon the death of Congress MLA Sri Krishan Hooda on April 12, will be held on November 3, the Election Commission (EC) said on Tuesday. The votes will be counted on November 10.
As per the Representation of People Act, an assembly byelection must be conducted within six months of creation of the vacancy. However, the bypolls were delayed due to the pandemic. Section 151-A of the Act provides that the EC, in consultation with the central government, can defer the byelection if it certifies that it is difficult to hold the polls within the said period.
As per the schedule announced by the EC, a notification will be issued on October 10 and the nomination process will start on the same day. The last date for filing nominations is October 16. The nominations will be scrutinised on October 17. The last date for withdrawing is October 19.
With the EC announcing the poll schedule, model code of conduct has been enforced in Sonepat. Earlier, Haryana’s chief electoral officer had sent a report on the prevalence of Covid infection in the district. The district has around 8,000 cumulative cases and stands third in the state.
As per the EC’s broad guidelines for conduct of general and byelections amid the pandemic, there shall be a maximum of 1,000 electors instead of 1,500 at a polling station.
The EC has stipulated that only a group of five people, including the candidate, but excluding security personnel will be allowed to participate in door-to-door campaigning. During road shows, the convoy of vehicles must be broken after every five vehicles and the interval between two sets of convoys should be half-an-hour.
The EC has decided to use electronic voting machines and a voter verifiable paper audit trail at all polling stations for the bypoll.
Public gatherings and rallies can be held subject to adherence to Covid guidelines, the EC said. It will fall on the district election officer (DEO) and district superintendent of police to ensure the number of attendees does not exceed the limit prescribed by State Disaster Management Authority.
The DEO has been directed to depute sector health regulators to ensure Covid guidelines are followed. The contesting parties and candidates have been asked to ensure all Covid-related requirements (face masks, sanitisers and thermal scanning) are fulfilled.