Election Commission defers Rajya Sabha Polls (Representative Image) (Photo Credit: File Photo)
In view of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday deferred March 26 biennial polls to 18 seats in the Rajya Sabha. The development comes a day after Parliament (both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) was adjouned sine die due to the growing concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the lockdown in several parts of India, including the national capital.
It is to be noted that Rajya Sabha bid farewell to 57 members, including veteran NCP leader Sharad Pawar, who will retire between April and July. While 37 members have already been elected unopposed, polling was scheduled to take place for 18 seats on Thursday. However, the ECI has deferred the Rajya Sabha polls for now. It is yet to announce the new date for Rajya Sabha elections.
Besides Pawar, Union minister Ramdas Athawale (RPI- Athawale), Congress veteran Motilal Vora, former Union minister Vijay Goel (BJP) are among the key members retiring from the Upper House.
The other retiring members include Ramnarayan Dudi, Narayan Lal Panchariya Mahant Shambhuprasadji Tundiya, Satyanarayan Jatiya and Prabhat Jha from BJP, and Mohammad Ali Khan, B K Hariprasad from the Congress.
In her farewell speech, AIADMK leader Vijila Sathyananth demanded Bharat Ratna for former late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, while Congress leader K V P Ramachandra Rao said he is retiring with a heavy heart as his party’s demand of special category status to Andhra Pradesh is not yet fulfilled.
In the meantime, Congress veteran Motilal Vora said, “I got a lot in life and I had a lot of drive to work and I still have…I will end my speech with lines of poet Robert Frost—miles to go before I sleep."
(With PTI Inputs)