The Election Commission (EC) on Saturday announced the bypoll to six Rajya Sabha seats in three states--Bihar, Odisha and Gujarat--on July 5. The notifications will be issued on June 18 and elections and counting of votes will be held on July 5. The hours for voting has been fixed from 9 am to 4 pm.
The seats for which the bypoll have been announced, include the one vacated by Amit Shah (Gujarat), Smriti Irani (Gujarat), Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad (Bihar), Achuytananda Samanta (Odisha) following their election to the Lok Sabha.
The Rajya Sabha bypoll will also be held on two more seats from Odisha. While one was vacated by Pratap Kesari Deb who got elected to the state assembly and Soumya Ranjan Patnaik who resigned.
In a statement, the commission clarified that the vacancies for bypoll to all Houses, including the Rajya Sabha, are considered separate vacancies and separate notifications are issued and a separate poll is taken for each of the vacancies although the programme schedule for the byepoll may be common.
It cited two Delhi High Court rulings of 1994 and 2009 which had supported the system of holding separate bypoll in the same state under provisions of the Representation of the People Act.