States give varied responses to Election Commission on bypoll timings, Covid restrictions


NEW DELHI: At least six of the 16 states where Lok Sabha and assembly bypolls are due are learnt to have responded in writing to the Election Commission on the “timing and manner” of the exercise amid the pandemic, sources aware of the development said on Friday.

The Commission received responses from at least six states by Friday evening and submissions from other states were expected either tonight or by Saturday, the sources said.

The responses so far on the restrictions to be imposed to avoid spread of COVID-19 and the timing of the bypolls have been varied, the sources said.

On Wednesday, top poll panel officials had asked the state governments to send in writing their responses on the “timing and manner” of the exercise.

The EC had sought to know about the situation of the coronavirus pandemic, floods, law and order scenario and upcoming festivals from the states.

Bypolls are due in three Lok Sabha seats of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh and Mandi in Himachal Pradesh.

The assembly seats where bypolls are due include seven in West Bengal, four in Uttar Pradesh, and three each in Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Assam. The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal is keen on an early bypoll schedule.

Chief Minister and TMC leader Mamata Banerjee, who lost from Nandigram in the assembly elections, needs to get elected as a member of the state Assembly by November 5 to continue in the post.