SC agrees to hear Cong plea against separate by-poll orders for 2 RS seats
The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it will hear on Wednesday a plea of the Gujarat unit of the Congress challenging the decision of the Election Commission to hold separate bypolls to two Rajya Sabha seats in the state.
The two Rajya Sabha seats fell vacant following the election of BJP president Amit Shah from Gandhinagar and Union minister Smriti Irani from Amethi to the Lok Sabha.
A vacation bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant agreed to list the matter on Wednesday after senior advocate Vivek Tankha mentioned it for urgent hearing, PTI reported.
Pareshbhai Dhanani, Congress MLA from Amreli and Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly, in his petition has sought a direction to the EC to hold the bypolls simultaneously.
On Saturday, the EC had notified election for both the seats on July 5.
The EC went on to clarifiy that the vacancies for bypolls to all Houses, including Rajya Sabha, are considered “separate vacancies” and separate notifications are issued and separate polls are held, though the schedule can be the same.
The Congress, which sees a chance of winning one Rajya Sabha seat if the election to both the seats are held together decided to challenge the notification in the Supreme Court. The Congress has 75 members in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly while the BJP has 100. Seven seats are vacant. The Congress believes it can win one seat if the polls are held simultaneously.
Amit Chavda, president, Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee alleged that the Election Commission was being pressured by the BJP government. “The commission was working under pressure of the government,” he said Monday.