Eight assembly seats vacant in Uttar Pradesh, EC to decide on bypolls
Uttar Pradesh may witness a mini-assembly election of sorts in the coming months if the Election Commission (EC) decides to hold bypolls to eight vacant seats in the state assembly along with the Bihar elections.
Five of these eight seats fell vacant after the death of sitting members.
“The Election Commission of India has to take a call about holding by-polls to the eight assembly seats. As of now, we have no information about the possible timing of the bypolls,” said a senior officer.
A bypoll to a vacant seat in the state assembly is generally held within six months from the date of vacancy. However, EC has not yet given any indication about holding these bypolls. “For seats, where the six-month time period is complete, EC has given a certificate, saying a decision about holding the bypoll there will be taken later,” said the officer.
Legal expert CB Pandey, a former advisor to the governor, said, “Yes, EC should ideally hold an election to a vacant seat in six months. The poll panel can defer the elections in special circumstances like Covid-19 or any other reasons. These vacancies have no impact on the state assembly.”
The Uttar Pradesh assembly has a strength of 403 members.
The five members who died include two ministers Kamal Rani Varun, who held the Ghatampur seat in Kanpur Nagar district, and Chetan Chauhan, who represented Amroha’s Naugawan Sadat assembly constituency.
While Varun died on August 2 after contracting Covid-19, Chetan Chauhan succumbed to the disease on August 16.
BJP’s Janmejaya Singh (Deoria Sadar) died on August 21 and Veerendra Singh Sirohi (Bulandshahr) passed away on March 2. Samajwadi Party’s Paras Nath Yadav, who represented Malhani in Jaunpur, died on June 12.
The other seats declared vacant include the one that had been held by BJP member Kuldeep Singh Sengar (Bangarmau, Unnao) who was disqualified following the life sentence awarded to him in a rape case. His seat has been declared vacant with effect from December 20, 2019.
The Swar seat was declared vacant with effect from December 16, 2019 after the Allahabad high court declared the election of Samajwadi Party’s Mohammad Abdullah Azam invalid.
Earlier, the Tundla assembly seat of Firozabad was declared vacant on June 4 following the resignation of former UP minister SP Singh Baghel when he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Agra.
The Election Commission also will have to take a call about holding the biennial election to 11 seats of the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Parishad. The term of 11 MLCs from graduate and teachers constituency of the state legislative council ended on May 6. Another seat fell vacant in the council following disqualification of former Bahujan Samaj Party leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui, who had switched loyalties to the Congress.