The Election Commission on Tuesday said that bye-polls to three Lok Sabha seats and 30 Assembly constituencies across India will be held on October 30. The votes will be counted on November 2.
The commission will issue a notification on October 1, marking the beginning of the nomination process. The last date for filing of nominations is October 8. The nominations will be scrutinised three days later.
There is one Lok Sabha vacancy from the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. One seat each is vacant from Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.
The 30 Assembly seats going for bye-polls are in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Telangana and West Bengal.
In Andhra Pradesh, the Huzurabad Assembly seat was vacated after the state’s former health minister Eatala Rajender was dismissed by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on charges of “land grabbing”, The Hindu reported.
Rajender later joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and is likely to be its candidate for bye-elections.
The Ellenabad seat in Haryana’s Sirsa district has been vacant since January after Indian National Lok Dal leader Abhay Singh Chautala quit the party to support the farmers protest against the Centre’s three agricultural laws, The Tribune reported.
At least five Assembly seats have fallen vacant after the death of MLAs in various states.
In Himachal Pradesh, three seats fell vacant after BJP MLA Narinder Bragta, Congress MLA Sujan Singh Pathania and former chief minister Virbhadra Singh died, according to The Indian Express.
In Rajasthan, the election for Vallabhnagar seat was necessitated after Congress MLA Vallabhnagar Gajendra Singh Shaktawat died of Covid-19 in January, according to PTI.
The Dhairyavad seat in Rajasthan fell vacant following the death of BJP MLA Gautam Lal Meena due to Covid-19 in May.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission announced its schedule on the same day when the Calcutta High Court allowed the Bhabanipur bye-poll to be conducted in West Bengal on September 30 as scheduled.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who took oath as West Bengal’s chief minister on May 5, needs to get elected as an MLA by the first week of November in order to continue as the chief minister.
During the Assembly elections held earlier this year, she lost her Nandigram seat to Bharatiya Janata Party leader Suvendu Adhikari by a narrow margin of 1,956 votes.
Since the results were declared in May, the Trinamool Congress has been pressing for bye-polls and has even been critical of the Election Commission for the delay in conducting it.
An Assembly bye-election has to be conducted within six months after a seat falls vacant. This year, the bye-polls were delayed due to the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Election Commission said it has taken feedback from the concerned states and the Union Territories before announcing the polls. “The commission has reviewed the situations related to pandemic, flood, festivals, cold conditions in certain regions,” the statement added.