Biennial elections to 13 Rajya Sabha seats in six states, of which 12 are falling vacant in April, will be held on March 21, the Election Commission today announced.
While the sole seat from Nagaland was also to fall vacant in April, sitting MP Khekiho Zimomi of Naga People’s Front passed away in November last. The election to that seat is also being held with others.
Out of these seats, five are currently with Congress, two each with BJP and SAD and three with CPI(M).
While the notification would be issued on March 4, the elections would be held on March 21. The counting of votes would take place the same day, the EC said.
In Punjab, where five seats are falling vacant, two each belong to Congress and SAD, one belongs to BJP. In Tripura, the seat falling vacant belongs to CPI(M).
In Kerala, where three vacancies are being created, two seats belong to CPI (M) and one Congress. In Assam, both the seats falling vacant now belong to Congress, while in Himachal the sole seat falling vacant is currently being held by the BJP.
Prominent members whose term ends include former Defence Minister A K Antony, former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and former CEC M S Gill.
The Commission said out of the five seats to be filled from Punjab, three are to be filled by holding one election and other two through another election. But the dates are times of the two polls are the same.
EC explained that separate polls are necessary as these seats “belong to two different biennial cycles”.
“Further, the term of office of the members to be elected to the council of States (Rajya Sabha) from the state of Punjab shall be subject to the decision of the Supreme Court” in a case pending before it (EC Vs Devesh Chandra Thajur and others), it said.