Rajya Sabha bypolls for two vacant seats in Gujarat on March 1

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Rajya Sabha
Source: Twitter

Gandhinagar: By-elections to two vacant Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat will be held on March 1, the Election Commission of India (ECI) said on Thursday.

Chief Electoral Officer Dr S Muralikrishna will be the Observer for the bypolls, the ECI said.

The two seats fell vacant after sitting MPs — Congress’ Ahmed Patel and BJP’s Abhay Bhardwaj — succumbed to coronavirus near the end of last year.

As per the bypoll notification issued on Thursday, the last day for filing of nominations is February 18. Scrutiny of papers will take place on February 19, and the last day for withdrawal of nominations is February 22.

The voting will be held from 9 am to 4 pm on March 1. Vote counting will be taken up at 5 pm the same day. The election process will be completed on March 3.

Health guidelines will have to be followed during the election process in view of the coronavirus situation.

Every person involved in the electoral process shall wear face masks at all times. Thermal scanning of all persons entering polling premises shall be carried out and sanitisers made available at all locations.

The ECI has directed Gujarat Chief Secretary Anil Mukim to depute a senior officer to ensure the implementation of Covid-19 guidelines.

Patel was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2017 and his term was to end on August 18, 2023. He died on November 25, 2020. Similarly, BJP leader Abhay Bhardwaj was elected to the Upper House of Parliament in June 2020 and his term was to end on June 21, 2026. He died on December 1 last.