Bypolls to 5 UP Assembly seats unlikely

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Lucknow, May 26 (IANS) Bye-elections to five assembly seats that fell vacant following deaths of BJP legislators in the second Corona wave, are unlikely to be held.

According to an election official, “Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 mandates the Election Commission to fill the casual vacancies in the Houses of Parliament and State Legislatures through bye-elections within six months from the date of occurrence of the vacancy, provided that the remainder of the term of a member in relation to a vacancy is one year or more.”

The remaining term of the state assembly is now less than one year.

The five BJP MLAs who passed away after contracting Covid include Ramesh Chandra Diwakar (Aurraiya), Suresh Chandra Srivastava (Lucknow-west), Kesar Singh (Bareilly), Dal Bahadur Kori (Rae Bareli) and Vijay Kashyap (Muzaffarnagar).

A sixth assembly seat headed for bypoll is Suar in Rampur, following disqualification of SP legislator Abdullah Azam, son of senior SP leader Azam Khan on charges of discrepancy in declaration of his date of birth.

The matter has been pending in court even though Vidhan Sabha records show the seat is vacant.

Official sources in UP Assembly said that Speaker Hriday Narayan Dixit would soon inform the Election Commission about the six vacant seats.

As a rule, election must be held in a vacant seat within six months. This means that bye-elections will have to be held by November (if the Speaker notifies the EC this month) – less than four months before the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections next year.