The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday (June 1) announced that elections to 18 Rajya Sabha seats that were scheduled to be held in March would be conducted on June 19.
The elections to the 18 seats from Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Rajasthan were supposed to be held on March 26. However, the polls were postponed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the ECI said the counting of votes will happen on the same day and the election must be completed by June 22.
The ECI asked chief secretaries to depute a senior officer from their states to ensure that the instructions regarding COVID- 19 containment measures were complied with while making arrangements for conducting the elections.
Elections will be conducted to four seats each in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, three seats each in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, two seats in Jharkhand, and one seat each in Manipur and Meghalaya.
The Commission has deputed the Chief Electoral Officer as the observer for the election in the respective state.
The elections gain importance as the National Democratic Alliance lacks a majority in the Rajya Sabha. The alliance, led by the BJP, has 104 seats out of the total 245 seats in the Upper House, where it had been depending on other parties for the passage of bills.
While the United Progressive Alliance has 59 seats, other parties have 61 seats.