Bypoll to Mandi Lok Sabha, 3 assemblies in HP deferred

The Election Commission of India on Saturday announced that bypolls to three Lok Sabha and 32 assembly segments, including three assembly and one parliamentary seat in Himachal, will held after the festive season
The assemblies that are going to the polls include Arki, Jubbal-Kotkhai and Fatehpur in Himachal. (HT FILE)
The assemblies that are going to the polls include Arki, Jubbal-Kotkhai and Fatehpur in Himachal. (HT FILE)
Published on Sep 05, 2021 01:19 AM IST
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By Gaurav Bisht, Shimla

The Election Commission of India on Saturday announced that bypolls to three Lok Sabha and 32 assembly segments, including three assembly and one parliamentary seat in Himachal, will held after the festive season.

According to the Election Commission, in order to assess the feasibility of holding byelections in various states and UTs, a meeting with the chief secretaries, senior officers from the department of health and home affairs, DGPs and chief electoral officers of the states concerned was held through video-conferencing on September 1.

The chief secretaries and chief electoral officers shared their inputs, constraints, issues and challenges in conducting the byelections in their states and UTs in view of Covid-19 pandemic, flood situation and festivals in near future and so on.

The chief secretaries of states including Himachal Pradesh brought to the notice of the Election Commission the constraints related to flood situations, festivals and pandemic and suggested that it will be advisable to have the byelections after the end of the festival season.

Besides these, some states had also brought to the notice of the Commission that the Government of India, various research institutions, technical expert committees and professionals have predicted the possibility of a third wave of Covid-19 October onwards. MHA has also issued detailed instructions on prevention of COVID-19 on August 28.

The Mandi parliament seat had fallen vacant after two-time Lok Sabha member Ramswaroop Sharma’s body was found hanging from the ceiling fan at his flat in March 17. While the Jubbal and Kotkhai seats fell vacant after its sitting legislator and former horticulture minister Narendra Bragta died due to post-Covid complications on June 6. Arki assembly seat fell vacant after death of former chief minister Virbhadra Singh on July 8, while the Fatehpur seat fell vacant after Congress legislator Sujan Singh Pathania died.

Himachal Congress president Kuldeep Singh Rathore alleged that the commission had deferred the elections under pressure from union government. “There is anger against inflation, price rise and the way government is handling the pandemic. The country is in crisis, BJP is running away from polls,” he said in a statement.

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Saturday, October 16, 2021