Tirath Singh Rawat’s missing request to EC on bypoll fuels buzz in Uttarakhand
Either Tirath Singh Rawat or Uttarakhand government will have to request the Election Commission to hold bypolls to enable the chief minister to get elected to the assembly
New Delhi: Uttarakhand chief minister Tirath Singh Rawat or the state government have not petitioned the election commission to hold by-elections to allow the chief minister who is not a member of the state legislature to become a member of the house, said people aware of the developments.
A chief minister who is not a member of the legislative assembly or the legislative council has to be elected to either House within six months of assuming office. Since Uttarakhand does not have a legislative council, Rawat who was appointed in March, has till September to get elected to the assembly.
Since the term of the assembly ends in March 2022, a person familiar with the election commission’s working said the poll panel may not ordinarily hold by-elections unless there is a special request.
“The election commission can hold by-elections even if general elections are less than a year away. There is no rule barring it. But in case there is a situation like in Uttarakhand where the CM’s continuation in office depends on the bypoll, they have to petition the EC, which will then take a call when to hold elections,” said a person aware of the details.
A second person said this request can be made by either the state government or the chief minister on the grounds that it is necessary for them to meet the constitutional requirements.
No such petition has been received so far, the person cited above said.
The EC will need a month’s time to notify and conduct the elections, said the person.
A similar situation had arisen in 2020 when Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had to be elected to either the assembly or the legislative council. Since elections were put on hold owing to the coronavirus pandemic, there was pressure from the state government to relax the restrictions to allow the elections.
Thackeray who was eventually elected unopposed even called Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seek his intervention. Earlier, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari had not acted on the state cabinet’s recommendation that Thackeray be nominated to the legislative council.
BJP functionaries did not respond to requests for their response.