By-polls 'delayed', city election office to rework dates

The city election official’s proposal to hold by-polls in three Delhi Assembly seats on August 21 seems more or less junked as the Election Commission has not sent its approval so far.

Officials said the by-polls cannot be held on August 21 and they will have to rework the dates and prepare a new proposal for the by-elections. “Now, there is no way we can organise the by-polls on August 21. There is very little time left,” said a senior functionary in the Delhi election office.

“If the Election Commission would have agreed to our proposed date for the by-polls, it would have issue the notification for the process by now,” said an official.

“It seems unlikely that the permission would come now,” said an official.

After the Delhi Election office sent the proposal to the Election Commission in mid-July, the officials were expecting a get a go-ahead by July 26.

The proposal talked of by-polls on all the three seats on August 21 and holding the counting of votes on August 25.

“We will have to rework the dates and send to the Election Commission for approval,” said another official, adding there is a statutory binding to conduct the by-polls before November-end.

With by-polls likely to be pushed beyond August, sources in the Delhi election office said these may be held along with the October-November Assembly polls in Haryana and Maharashtra. 

The three Assembly seats — Krishna Nagar in east Delhi, and Tughlakabad and Mehrauli in south Delhi — are lying vacant since the parliamentary elections results were declared in May.

The seats were vacated by BJP legislators who were elected to the Lok Sabha.

Krishna Nagar MLA and former Delhi BJP president Harsh Vardhan contested and won in the parliamentary elections from Chandni Chowk constituency. He later joined the Narendra Modi’s Union cabinet as the Health Minister.

Tughlakabad MLA Ramesh Bidhuri and Mehrauli MLA Pravesh Verma won from south and west Delhi parliamentary seats respectively.

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