Byelection in Haryana’s Baroda constituency likely in November – chandigarh
The Baroda assembly by election in Haryana are likely to be held along with the Bihar assembly elections in November. The assembly seat had fallen vacant due to the demise of Congress MLA Sri Krishan Hooda on April 12.
As per the Representation of People Act, an assembly by election has to be conducted within a period of six months from the date of occurrence of vacancy. The due date for conducting Baroda by poll, thus, will be in October. However, Section 151-A of the Act provides that the Election Commission (EC) in consultation with the Centre can defer the bypoll if it is difficult to hold it within the said period.
The EC, which last week held a meeting regarding holding of 65 by elections across the country, reviewed reports and inputs from chief secretaries and chief electoral officers seeking deferment of bypolls due to Covid-19 pandemic and heavy rains in some places.
The commission, subsequently, decided that since general assembly elections in Bihar were also due and required to be completed before November 29, all the 65 bypolls across the states will be conducted around the same time, a statement by the EC said. A major factor in clubbing the polls together is the relative ease of movement of Central Armed Police Forces and related logistics, the EC said.
“Announcement of schedule of Bihar assembly elections as well as these bypolls will be done by the commission at an appropriate time,’’ the EC said.
‘Baroda falls in Covid-19 hotspot’
Haryana’s chief electoral officer had sent a status report regarding the prevalence of coronavirus infection in Sonepat district to the commission. Baroda assembly seat falls in Sonepat, a district regarded as a hotspot in terms of Covid-19 cases. The district ranks at number three behind Faridabad and Gurugram in terms of total number of positive cases, which were 5,498 as on Thursday.
The EC had also asked the chief electoral officer to assess the prevalent infrastructure facilities to ensure that number of polling stations can be increased amid the pandemic.
As per the EC’s broad guidelines for conduct of general and by elections during Covid-19, there shall be a maximum of 1,000 electors instead of 1,500 in a polling station.
The EC officials said as a precautionary measure on account of the pandemic, the limit of number of electors assigned to a polling station has been restricted to 1,000 in Bihar and constituencies of other states where by elections are due in near future.