New Delhi/Kochi: Election to three Rajya Sabha seats falling vacant in the State on April 21 will be held on April 30, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Monday.
The announcement was made after the High Court of Kerala ordered the completion of the election process by May 2. The results of the Assembly polls would be declared on May 2.
The ECI had kept in abeyance its earlier decision to hold the Rajya Sabha polls slated for Monday. The decision was deferred even before notifying the polls. A fresh notification will be issued on Tuesday.
The election was necessitated by the April 21 retirement of current Abdul Wahab (IUML), K K Ragesh (CPI M) and Vayalar Ravi (Congress). High Court judge Justice P V Asha ordered the election after the State Legislative Assembly secretary and S Sharma, MLA, of the CPM challenged the poll deferment in the court.
The poll panel issued a detailed press note for "conduct of biennial election to the council of states from Kerala to fill the seats of members retiring on April 21".
The court ordered the conduct of the poll during the term of the current Assembly. Following the court order, the ECI published the poll schedule by Monday evening. The commission did not specify the constitutional issues it had cited to defer the poll.
Notification on April 13
The Election Commission of India will notify the election to the three Rajya Sabha seats from the State on Tuesday. April 20 will be the last day for submitting the nomination papers which could be withdrawn till April 23. The papers will be scrutinized on April 21. Polling will be held between 9 am and 4 pm on April 30. Counting will commence at 5pm the same day.
In Rajya Sabha polls, votes are counted in the evening.
Initially, election to the three Rajya Sabha seats was to be held on April 12.
Members of legislative assembly elect Rajya Sabha members. The MLAs of the outgoing assembly, in which the ruling LDF has a majority, were to elect the three new members. Polling for Kerala assembly elections were held on April 6 and counting will take place on May 2.
Rajya Sabha elections are usually held before the expiry of the term of retiring members.